La Brea y Pariñas

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La Brea y Pariñas

La Brea y Pariñas, since colonial times a tar-producing estate in the province of Talara in northern Peru, which was later developed into the Negritos oil field, a source of dispute between several Peruvian governments and foreign oil companies until its expropriation by the military government in 1968. Through dubious legal means, Genaro Helguero bought the Hacienda La Brea y Pariñas and then obtained tax exemptions and property rights over surface and subsoil. In 1888 he sold the property to Herbert Tweddle, who organized the London and Pacific Petroleum Company under British law. In 1913, Standard Oil of New Jersey bought control of the British firm and under Canadian law merged it into the International Petroleum Company. This company exported Peruvian oil at huge profits made possible by advantageous tax deals with the Peruvian government (paying only 6 percent tax on its profits since 1916). The other local and foreign companies that controlled two other important oil fields in northern Peru, Lobitos and Zorritos, paid a higher tax rate. The legal dispute over Negritos was one of the main reasons for President Fernando Belaúnde's ouster by a military coup in 1968. According to studies, Peru's economy would have been better off without the presence of the International Petroleum Company.

See alsoPetroleum Industry .


Adalberto Pinelo, The Multinational Corporation as a Force in Latin American Politics: A Case Study of the International Petroleum Company in Peru (1973).

Rosemary Thorp and Geoffrey Bertram, Peru, 1890–1977: Growth and Policy in an Open Economy (1978).

Additional Bibliography

Jochamowitz, Luis. Crónicas del petróleo en el Perú. Lima: Grupo REPSOL YPF, 2001.

                                     Alfonso W. Quiroz