A new Guatemalan Constitutional Court motion has been filed against the expanded Perenco contract on the grounds of unconstitutionality.
The new motion, presented by the independent congressman Aníbal García, claims that the new contract is without merit since Perenco has been deemed “ineffective” by the Guatemalan Tax Revenue Authority (SAT) since June 2006.
The Guatemalan Environment, Culture and Sports, and Interior Ministers have suggested that the law was broken in extending the Perenco oil exploitation contract.
According to Luis Ferraté, Environment Minister, by expanding the scope of the project the extension violates laws regulating hydrocarbon exploitation, in which "only contract extensions are authorized, not modifications or expansions, as stated in the contract signed by the Minster for Energy and Mines (MEM) with Perenco".
After the expiration of the concession currently held by Perenco, a tender is to be launched for the operation of a pipeline connecting the Xan field in Peten with the oil terminal in Piedras Negras.
Elperiodico.com.gt reports that "...Vice President Jafeth Cabrera, after a meeting in Puerto Barrrios, Izabal, said the contract with Perenco which expires next year will be extended by no longer than six months in order to realise the tender."
The recent renewal of Perenco's oil extraction contract removed the company's exclusive right to carry out certain activities.
The new contract gives the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) the right to authorize and schedule "the use of perforation and intervention equipment, including any and all accesories required for its adequate functioning... with the aim of achieving national oil policy objectives".
Upon the success of the operating contract by the business Perenco, the Department of Energy and Mines reported that the public noticing process has been opened.
Byron Dardón, in his article published in Prensalibre.com, writes: "Carlos Meany, Minister of Energy and Mines, commented that, along with the petroleum field, also opened was the process for the exploration process for deposits of Western Chinajá, the Caribbean and Tierra Blanca, that form part of the area A6-2005, from where crude oil has been extracted for 25 years."
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