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Cablegate: Minor Anomaly Found in Camisea Pipeline

VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #1266 0942110
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 042110Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4930
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4516
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7271
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 2842
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0276
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ APR QUITO 1122
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 1200
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUMIAAA/USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC

UNCLAS LIMA 001266

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/AND, WHA/EPSC, OES
TREASURY FOR U/S TAYLOR, KKOZLOFF, MSHWARZMAN, AJEWELL

STATE PASS TO EXIM
DEPT OF ENERGY FOR S. LADISLAW
ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION FOR CHARLES ESSER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG ECON ETRD EAID SENV PE
SUBJECT: MINOR ANOMALY FOUND IN CAMISEA PIPELINE

REF: 06 Lima 4480

1. SUMMARY: On April 3, Camisea pipeline operator TGP detected an
anomaly in the gas liquids pipeline and took measures to remediate
the problem. This is the only anomaly reported for the 2006-7 rainy
season (now ending), during which the sodden earth has historically
caused problems. A "smart pig" (pipeline inspection gauge) operated
by a contract U.S. firm discovered the anomaly before it could
become a problem. GOP inspectors will visit the site on April 4 to
investigate the nature of the problem together with TGP staff. END
SUMMARY

2. On April 3, Transportadora de Gas del Peru (TGP), the company
operating the Camisea natural gas and gas liquids pipelines,
confirmed to Econoffs that an inspection crew had detected an
anomaly in the gas liquids pipeline at kilometer 125 in the jungle.
TGP described the anomaly as some bubbling in the wet ground above
the pipe, detected during their routine pipeline inspection work.
(Note: during the rainy season, now ending, the earth around the
pipeline can become waterlogged. End Note.) At TGP's control center
in Lurin, south of Lima, the detected anomaly led operators to shut
down the pipeline immediately as a precaution.

3. A TGP inspection team flew by helicopter immediately to the site,
along with a local magistrate and representatives from the nearby
village of Kapashiato, to witness the inspection work and verify
that no social or environmental damage had been done. There was,
according to TGP Corporate Relations Director Rafael Guarderas, no
harm to environment or people. TGP workers excavated around the
site and will continue investigation on April 4. Contacts at the
GOP energy inspection and regulatory agency OSINERGMIN told Econoff
that inspectors would arrive on the site on April 4. (Note: the
only access is by helicopter, as the area was left roadless to
prevent negative environmental impacts. End Note.)

4. The April 3 incident is the only anomaly reported for the 2006-7
rainy season. TGP has spent $115 million over the past year to
improve the pipelines, including contracting with U.S. firm
Tuboscope Pipeline Services for use of its robotic "smart pig"
(which travels inside the pipeline to sense anomalies before they
become problems), as well as various buttressing and maintenance
work for both pipeline beds.

5. To date, there have been no anomalies in the parallel (and
longer, as it follows the coast almost to Lima) gas pipeline.
Natural gas production in Peru was 212.87 MMcf/d in March, up 10.5%
over February, due to increased use from new power-generation plants
such as Enersur.

6. Meanwhile, the independent technical audit of the pipeline
(Reftel) is expected to be released in May, and its contents are
confidential until then. However, Energy Ministry (MEM) Hydrocarbon

SIPDIS
Director Gustavo Navarro noted to us that the audit contract
required the contractor to report immediately to the MEM if it found
any condition of imminent risk. There have been no such reports.
STRUBLE

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