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Transparency, consultation and conflict: Assessing the micro‐level risks surrounding the drive to develop Peru's Amazonian oil and gas resources

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Since the 1990s, successive Governments in Peru have sought to expand the exploration and production of the country's oil and gas resources. This economic agenda poses significant opportunities and risks which are usually considered at the macro‐level and framed by debates regarding the so‐called “natural resource curse”. While risks such as “Dutch disease” are important to consider, a worrying set of short‐term issues surrounds the impacts of rapid changes brought on by oil and gas industrial development at the micro‐level, namely, those that affect local communities and the environment. In the case of Peru, this is especially relevant to the vast areas of ecologically sensitive and previously under‐developed Amazonia that are now under concession to oil and gas companies. Low levels of industry transparency combined with a lack of uniform free, prior and informed consent are exacerbating community‐level grievances, and the conflicts to which they can lead. As the oil and gas industry expands in the Peruvian Amazon, the risk of conflict is likely to prove far harder to minimize or ameliorate than are the challenges of managing industry revenues and the risk of currency appreciation most often associated with the natural resource curse.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Technical University of Denmark

Publication date: November 1, 2011


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