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PetroTal warns of production halt in Peru after new blockade

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By Marco Aquino

LIMA, Nov 25 (Reuters) - PetroTal Corp said on Thursday that indigenous protests in an Amazon region of northern Peru had blocked river transportation of its crude and it may be forced to halt operations in the coming days if the situation was not resolved.

PetroTal, headquartered in Canada, is sending its Peruvian crude by boat along the Amazon river to Brazil for export, because the pipeline it normally uses - owned by state-owned Petroperú - has been paralyzed since the beginning of October due to another protest in the area.

The firm said in a statement that protesters in Bretaña in Peru's northern jungle region had "intentionally blocked access to the pier preventing the continuity of our operations."

PetroTal has informed "the stock market about starting the process of a total production halt, in case the aforementioned protest is not lifted in the next few days," it added.

The 1,100-kilometer Petroperú pipeline that pumps crude from the jungle region to the Pacific coast has for years been affected by attacks from Amazon communities who criticize contamination and demand greater social investment.

Social conflicts in Peru have increased since left-wing president Pedro Castillo came to power in July, pledging to give greater economic benefits to communities that live near natural resources but often live in poverty. (Reporting by Marco Aquino; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Daniel Wallis)

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