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A second hydrocarbon boom threatens the Peruvian Amazon
Date:2/18/2010

A rapid and unprecedented proliferation of oil and gas concessions threatens the megadiverse Peruvian Amazon. The amount of area leased is on track to reach around 70% of the region, threatening biodiversity and indigenous people. This is one of the central conclusions from a pair of researchers from the Institut de Cincia i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA) of Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona (UAB), and the Washington DC-based NGO Save America's Forests, who have, for the first time, documented the full history of hydrocarbon activities in the region and made projections about expected levels of activity in the near future.

The study, conducted by Mart Orta and Matt Finer, researchers at ICTA and Save America's Forests, respectively, and published in Environmental Research Letters, reconstructs the full history of hydrocarbon activities in the region and makes projections for the next five years. Researchers have found that more of the Peruvian Amazon has recently been leased to oil and gas companies than at any other time on record. There are now 52 active hydrocarbon concessions covering over 41% of the Peruvian Amazon, up from just 7% in 2003. The authors warn that the region has now entered the early stages of a second hydrocarbon exploration boom and that the amount of area leased to oil and gas companies is on track to reach around 70% of the region.

The collected data reveals an extensive hydrocarbon history for one of the greatest rainforests on Earthwell over 100,000 km of seismic lines and nearly 700 wells have resulted in the extraction of nearly 1 billion barrels of oil over the past 70 years from the Peruvian Amazon, the second largest land area of the Amazon Basin after Brazil. The first major hydrocarbon exploration boom took place in the Peruvian Amazon in the early to mid 1970s, immediately followed by an exploitation boom from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.

The authors also discovered a number of interesting t
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Contact: Maria Jesus Delgado
MariaJesus.Delgado@uab.cat
34-935-814-049
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Source:Eurekalert

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