Will Toronto-based Sintana Energy Inc. be involved in a fracking pilot project with ExxonMobil in Colombia?

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On May 1, Colombia Informa reported on the fracking pilot projects that are expected to begin in Colombia in 2021.

The article notes that a potential site is the VMM-37 block:

“In the VMM-37 block granted to the North American company ExxonMobil, in Puerto Wilches (Santander), it would contemplate the cutting of 109 hectares of forest, the capture of an average of more than six daily pools of water in the Magdalena and Sogamoso rivers, and a polygon area comparable to 21,655 soccer fields, which will impact five townships.”

The infographic produced by la Corporación Podion indicates that a Canadian company partners with ExxonMobil in the VMM-37 block. And Podion notes that the VMM-37 block “may possibly be classified as Integral Research Pilot Projects (PPII).”

More about Sintana Energy Inc.

In November 2012, Oil & Gas Journal reported, “Subject to approval by Colombia’s ANH, ExxonMobil will take a farmout from Patriot Energy Oil & Gas Inc., a subsidiary of Sintana Energy Inc., Toronto, to earn a 70% interest in the 43,000-acre VMM-37 block.”

As noted on its website, “Sintana Energy is a public Canadian oil and natural gas exploration company listed on the Canadian TSX Venture Exchange under the trading symbol SEI. With offices in Toronto, Ontario and Dallas, Texas, the Company’s primary asset is ownership interests in the VMM-37 block located in Colombia’s prolific Magadalena Basin.”

A Sintana media release from May 2018 notes, “The Company’s private participation interests in Colombia, held by Patriot Energy Sucursal Colombia (‘Patriot’), wholly owned by Sintana include 100% of the conventional and 30% of the unconventional resource in the 43,158 acre VMM-37 Block which is located in the Middle Magdalena Basin.”

ConocoPhillips and Canacol Energy Ltd.

Another Canadian oil and gas company has also been in the news in relation to the fracking pilot projects in Colombia.

In November 2019, La Republica reported, “ConocoPhillips Colombia plans to invest up to US $100 million in two pilots at Cesar. …With two projects in Cesar (VMM-2 and VMM-3), the multinational is ready to take the next step.”

Those two pilots have been understood to be a partnership between ConocoPhillips and Calgary-based Canacol Energy Ltd. through its Bogota-based subsidiary CNE Oil and Gas given this Reuters article and other news reports about their previous joint application for the controversial Piranga and Plata projects.

Concerns in the fishing village of Puerto Patiño

In March, EFE reported, “[Social leader Javier Vega] fears that the project that the Canadian oil company ConocoPhillips plans in the area will dry up the Doña María swamp [part of the Magdalena River], from which the fishing village [Puerto Patiño] has been feeding for more than fifty years and is vital to its traditions.”

Concerns about the safety of social leaders opposed to fracking

Colombia Informa also reports, “Óscar Sampayo, social leader and spokesman for the Colombia Free Fracking Alliance, expressed the concern that it generates for leaders and social leaders to oppose these fracking projects: ‘What will be the security of the farmers who oppose it? This is going to intensify the violence, the violation of human rights and the deepening of other conflicts caused by the pilot projects of integral investigation’.”

And the article notes, “According to Gabriel Rojas Andrade, Professor at the Law School of the Universidad de los Andes and who has been monitoring the issue, there is an inability of the Colombian State to guarantee the integrity of those who protect life and territory. The professor explained that the assassination of social leaders in Colombia should be called ‘systematic’, a humanitarian crisis declared by social and political movements such as the Peoples Congress, since last year.”

The full Colombia Informa article titled ‘Duque backs fracking contracts with Exxon and Ecopetrol‘ can be read here.

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