- PetroTal (TAL) has been forced to temporarily shut down operations at its Bretana Oil Field in Peru amid ongoing civil unrest in the region
- The company had requested an increased police presence after an attack on a pump station last week as protesters demanded greater government assistance in tackling the COVID-19 crisis
- Additional security forces were dispatched but attacked again on August 8 by another group of armed protesters
- Approximately a dozen people were injured in the clash, with three deaths later reported
- The field closure is expected to last until a formal inquiry into the incident is completed
- PetroTal (TAL) is currently down 14.58 per cent and is trading at C$0.20 per share
PetroTal (TAL) has temporarily shut down operations at its Bretana Oil Field in Peru amid ongoing civil unrest in the region.
A nearby pump station in Saramiriza was taken over last week by protestors seeking greater government assistance tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, PetroTal requested an enhanced security presence at Bretana from the country’s National Police.
Approximately 40 police officers were dispatched to the area in an effort to discourage any further violence, along with a local prosecutor from neighbouring Requena.
However, in the last hours of August 8, violence flared up again when another armed group of protestors, largely from regions outside Bretana, confronted the national police force. The ensuing clash resulted in roughly a dozen injuries, with three deaths later reported.
PetroTal has now evacuated all non-essential workers from the oil field, leaving only a key group behind to resume operations once the situation cools down.
The company stressed in today’s announcement that the protests were held against the Peruvian government, rather than the company itself.
Charges are expected to be laid against those that acted unlawfully during the protests, with operations at the Bretana Oil Field to resume once a formal inquiry into the incident has been completed.
It was only a matter of weeks ago that PetroTal had resumed production at the oil field, following separate operational suspensions that began in early May as a result of the virus outbreak.
Since May 7, the company had capped its oil production at Bretana due to storage capacity limitations, and utilised a crew of 30 employees to undertake a care and maintenance schedule, but this was lifted on July 27.
PetroTal (TAL) is currently down 14.58 per cent and is trading at C$0.20 per share at 11:48am EDT.