While resource nationalism initiatives have scared away investors in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela, Peru and Colombia are two Latin America venues that offer relatively hassle-free investment and have plenty of new acreage openings. In Peru, we think LNG is the hot track to follow, while in Colombia, it’s all about shale oil—if you can stomach the improving but lingering security threat.
PERU: All about LNG
Against the backdrop of increasing resource nationalism in Latin America, Peru stands out because of its untapped natural gas reserves, a new LNG plant, new investor-friendly policies and an independent licensing regime.
While Peru is a net importer of oil, it is a net exporter of natural gas and also home to South America’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant.
In a nutshell, Peru has 18 sedimentary basins with high hydrocarbons potential, but only six are undergoing any significant exploration activity and only three are currently producing. Geologically, the potential is vast: Nine of the 18 basins are located in the Peruvian coastal regions and the continental shelf; those basins in the central and southern continental shelf are particularly underexplored. In 2011, 18 exploratory wells were spudded, with another 25 drilled by the end of 2012 and more than 30 hoped for by the end of 2014.
As of early last year, Peru had around 582 million barrels of proven oil reserves, adding about 50 million…