Peru’s state energy agency PeruPetro is offering 31 oil and gas exploration areas for two-year technical evaluation agreements through direct negotiations, reported Reuters, citing officials.

The firm is planning to sign up to 31 separate technical contracts.

PeruPetro board member Fernando Ruiz Lecaros was cited by the news agency as saying to investors that the areas that are being offered are located at the Ucayali, Marañon, Salaverry, Madre de Dios, and Tumbes basins.

PeruPetro officials said that some of the firms, including US-based Jaguar Exploration, China’s state oil company CNPC, and Canada’s PetroTal, have sought requests to sign technical agreements.

PeruPetro board member Fernando Ruiz Lecaros said: “Due to higher oil and gas prices, we are seeing more interest from investors in these technical agreements.”

The contracts, which are planned to be awarded following a two-year evaluation period, will allow the selected firms to initiate exploration license negotiation with PeruPetro.

Peru also plans to complete a separate contract negotiation with state-run oil company Petroperu for what it claims to be the country’s largest field, Block 192, in the coming months.

Block 192 halted production in 2020 due to damage to the surrounding forest and Petroperu’s difficulty in securing the required credit guarantees.

Peru Energy vice-minister Enrique Bisetti said that Petroperu, upon the signing of an agreement, could restart oil production at the idled Amazonian field in 2024.

Production from this field is planned to be transported through the 1,106km-long Norperuano onshore pipeline, according to the officials.