Talisman Energy (TLM) is abandoning oil exploration in a block of forest in the Peruvian Amazon, reports Amazon Watch, an activist group that has campaigned against the driller since 2004.
It wasn’t immediately clear why Talisman decided to pull out of Peru, but the energy company has faced strong opposition from environmentalists who say indigenous groups haven’t been properly consulted and that operations threaten the region’s high levels of biodiversity. Talisman operates blocks 64 and 103 and has stakes in two other lots in the Peruvian Amazon.
Of particular concern to green groups was Talisman’s activities in Block 64 which lies “in the heart of indigenous Achuar territory in a remote and bio diverse region of the Amazon rainforest,” according to Amazon Watch, which welcome the oil company’s decision.
“Talisman has had to face up to what the Achuar told them when they first invested in Block 64: The company cannot drill without the consent of the Achuar people,” said Gregor MacLennan, Peru Program Coordinator at Amazon Watch, in a statement. “Talisman’s exit sends a clear message to the oil industry: Trampling indigenous rights in the rush to exploit marginal oil reserves in the Amazon rainforest is not an option.”
The Peruvian government has granted oil exploration licenses for roughly 70 percent of its Amazon rainforest territory.