presence in Peru’s energy industry.

The South American country already accounts for more than 60% of SK’s total crude oil reserves of 510 million barrels.

Underlining Peru’s growing importance to the Korean firm, group chairman Chey Tae-won has made several visits to Lima to meet with senior officials including Peruvian President Alan Garcia to discuss further investments including petrochemical projects.

SK, which began operating in Peru 10 years ago, helped develop its Camisea natural gas field which accounts for 80% of the country’s gas production.

Peru has an estimated six billion barrels of crude oil and 24 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

SK said that to date, it has invested more than $1 billion in its upstream ventures in Peru.

Elsewhere in South America, SK has stakes in oil fields and exploration blocks in Brazil and Colombia.