Oleoducto Nor Peruano Oil Pipeline (Peru)

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This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

The Oleoducto Nor Peruano, frequently referred to by its initials ONP, is an oil pipeline in Peru.[1]


The pipeline originates in Loreto department in Peru's Amazon Basin. It has two branches at its eastern end, beginning at the Andoas and San José de Saramuro gathering stations, respectively. At Estación 5 (Pumping Station 5), these two branches converge to form a single pipeline that continues southwest to the Bayóvar terminal on Peru's Pacific Coast (Piura department).[1][2] The pipeline passes through the departments of Loreto, Amazonas, Cajamarca, Lambayeque and Piura.[3]

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Project Details

  • Operator: Petroperú[1]
  • Parent company: Petroperú
  • Current capacity:
    • Ramal Norte: 105,000 bpd (barrels per day)
    • Section 1: 70,000 bpd
    • Section 2: 200,000 bpd[4]
  • Length: 1106 km[5]
    • Ramal Norte: 252 km
    • Section 1: 306 km
    • Section 2: 548 km[4]
  • Diameter:
    • Ramal Norte: 16 inches
    • Section 1: 24 inches
    • Section 2: 36 inches[4]
  • Status: Operating
  • Start Year: 1977[3]


The Oleoducto Nor Peruano is Peru's longest pipeline. It began operating on May 24, 1977.[3]

The pipeline is divided into three sections:

  • The easternmost section, known as Section 1, starts at Station 1 in San José de Saramuro and has a diameter of 24 inches and a length of 306 km.
  • The northernmost section, known as Ramal Norte, starts at the Andoas station and has a diameter of 16 inches and a length of 252 km.
  • These first two sections of pipeline come together at Station 5 in Borja (Loreto department), where they feed into a 36-inch pipeline known as Section 2 that runs 548 kilometers west to the Bayóvar terminal on Peru's Pacific Coast.[2][5]

The pipeline transported 150,000 barrels per day at its peak, but had only been transporting 15,000 barrels per day before a 2016 spill led to the pipeline being shut down for more than a year.[6]

Transport of oil through the pipeline suffered new disruptions in 2020 due to falling oil prices, the Covid-19 pandemic, and protests by indigenous groups. Three of Peru's major oil producers - Argentina's Pluspetrol, Anglo-French Perenco, and Canada's Frontera, shut down production in Blocks 8, 67, and 192, respectively, when the pandemic took hold in March 2020, and the operations of all three companies remained suspended as of January 2021.[7]

A June 2020 agreement between pipeline operator Petroperú and the PetroTal oil company called for resumption of production at the Bretaña oil field in Lot 95, with anticipated volumes of 10,000 bpd for the remainder of 2020 and 20,000 bpd in 2021.[8] In January 2021 PetroTal announced that it would ship 220,000 barrels of Peruvian crude by barge to Brazil in February to test river transport as an alternative to the Norperuano pipeline, in light of the ongoing challenges posed by pipeline ruptures, blockades, and sabotage.[7]

In early January 2021, Petroperú announced that it had reopened the entire Norperuano pipeline for the first time since September 2020, following months of protests that had shut down operations.[9]

Environmental and social impacts

The Oleoducto Nor Peruano has a substantial history of spills. A 2020 report co-published by Oxfam and the Peruvian human rights group CNDDHH documents a total of 94 spills along the ONP between 2000 and 2019, half of which were caused by corrosion, faulty maintenance, operational errors, and unsafe conditions attributable to pipeline operator Petroperú. An additional 34.8% of the spills were attributed to "third parties," while 15.7% of the spills were due to natural causes. The frequency of spills along the ONP and associated oil development parcels in the Peruvian Amazon has increased dramatically in recent years.[10]

Other sources that have documented the high incidence of spills along the ONP include Peru Reports, which cited 23 spills and leaks along the ONP between 2011 and 2017[11], and Environmental Justice Atlas, which recorded at least 20 spills between 2016 and 2019.[12]

In August 2016, Peru's government ordered the closure of the pipeline following the pipeline's third spill in a period of five months.[11] It reopened in September 2017.[13] The three 2016 spills were:

  • On 25 January 2016, a spill occurred in the Bagua province of the Amazonas eight miles from a creek that feeds the Morona River, a significant tributary of the Amazon River.[14]
  • On 3 February 2016, a second spill occurred in the Datem del Marañon province in the neighboring Loreto state.[14] Along with the January spill, approximately 3,000 barrels were estimated to have been released.[11]
  • On 24 June 2016, a third spill of 600 barrels occurred in the Maynas Province of Loreto state.[11] Petro peru was fined $3.5 million and Petroperu president German Velasquez was fired.[11]

Another significant spill took place on June 18, 2019, contaminating the drinking water of 1230 indigenous families.[15]

The spills have been contentious for a number of reasons, including their impacts on local villages that rely on the river for drinking water and other essential uses. Petroperú was also criticized following the January and February 2016 spills following the release of photographs depicting children working to clean up the spills, with Petroperu paying $2 per bucket of oil collected.[14]


Since the ONP's inception, concerned citizens have sought to draw attention to the pipeline's negative impacts on indigenous communities and the environment, and the pace of protests has increased in recent years.

In February 2019, members of four indigenous Quechua communities near the pipeline (Andoas, Nuevo Andoas, Porvenir and Jardines) took over the Andoas airfield to protest Petroperú and Frontera Energy's failure to supply electricity and water to local residents as promised.[16]

Frustration with Petroperú and its pollution of local rivers provoked further protests and strikes following the June 18, 2019 oil spill. Over the following month, 54 Amazonian indigenous federations joined the protests, eventually taking over one of Petroperú's local headquarters by force on July 6. Indigenous leaders agreed to suspend their protests in mid-July after representatives of the Peruvian government, including Minister of Energy and Mines Francisco Ísmodes, met with them and promised to investigate the ongoing oil spills.[15]

In July 2019, the Peruvian environmental agency OEFA (Organismo de Evaluación y Fiscalización Ambiental) fined Petroperú US$25 million for failure to maintain the pipeline and for damages caused to indigenous communities, flora and fauna in the pipeline's path.[12]

In August 2020, indigenous groups staged new protests at a pumping station along the Nor Peruano pipeline and at Lot 95, an oil field administered by the Canadian company PetroTal, demanding that the government comply with its promises to provide electricity, drinking water, and a sewage treatment plant. Three indigenous protestors were killed in the ensuing confrontation with police, which also resulted in injuries to 11 protestors and six police officers.[17] Protestors armed with spears occupied the pumping station for two weeks, relinquishing control only after being promised medical attention for coronavirus and other forms of socio-economic support.[18]

In September 2020, indigenous groups again staged protests and blockades demanding health and social support measures in the face of the coronavirus, prompting Petroperú to evacuate two of its stations in the Loreto region and bringing pipeline operations to a halt. Amidst the protest, Pablo de la Flor, executive director of the SNMPE (National Society of Mining, Petroleum and Energy) noted that oil production in the region had been reduced by two thirds in 2020 compared to 2019.[18] Protestors maintained their blockade of pumping station 5 for 85 days before the Peruvian government reassumed control in late December 2020, allowing normal pipeline operations to resume by early January 2021.[7][9]

In March 2021, ten employees working at the Morona Station along the pipeline were kidnapped as a result of continued anger over State shortcomings to meet social demands.[19]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Oleoducto Norperuano". Petroperú. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Oleoducto Norperuano cumplió 42 años de funcionamiento". Petroperú. May 27, 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Oleoducto Nor Peruano" (PDF). Ministerio de Energía y Minas. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "¿Dónde está el Oleoducto Nor Peruano y cuánto petróleo transporta?". RPP Noticias. October 25, 2016.
  6. "Oleoducto Norperuano estaría paralizada por lo menos 6 meses más". Gestión. July 26, 2016.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "PetroTal to test Peru-Brazil river route for crude". Argus Media. January 12, 2021.
  8. "PetroTal coordina reapertura del Oleoducto Norperuano para transportar producción del Lote 95". La República. June 14, 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Petroperú reinicia operación delOleoducto Norperuano". Petroperú. January 3, 2021.
  10. León, Aymara & Zúñiga, Mario (February 2020). "La sombra del petróleo: Informe de los derrames petroleros en la Amazonía peruana entre el 2000 y el 2019" (PDF). Oxfam & CNDDHH – Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 "Peru pipeline closed for six more months following third oil spill". Perú Reports. August 1, 2016.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Derrames del oleoducto de Petroperú en la Amazonia, Perú | EJAtlas". Environmental Justice Atlas. October 14, 2019.
  13. "Oleoducto Nor Peruano reinicia operaciones". Petroperú. September 26, 2017.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Oil spills contaminate major river in Peru’s Amazon, Peru Reports, 13 Feb. 2016
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Oleoducto Norperuano: Indígenas levantan protestas en zona declarada en emergencia por derrame de petróleo". Gestión. July 19, 2019.
  16. "Loreto: comunidades nativas tomaron aeródromo de Andoas para reclamar agua y energía". SPDA Actualidad Ambiental. February 8, 2019.
  17. "Perú: 3 muertos en protesta contra petrolera en la Amazonía". Últimas Noticias / 20 Minutos. August 9, 2020.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Petroperú vuelve a frenar oleoducto ante amenaza de protestas de indígenas: gremio". Reuters. September 28, 2020.
  19. Redacción LR (2021-03-13). "Loreto: toman estación del Oleoducto Norperuano y secuestran a 10 trabajadores" (in español). Retrieved 2021-07-14.

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