Fracking contracts could be awarded to Canadian companies in Colombia in November

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: A protest against fracking in San Martin, Cesar, Colombia in April 2016 where Calgary-based Canacol Energy Ltd. could be awarded a contract this November-December to begin fracking in the first semester of 2021.

A new study by Harvard University published in the journal Nature Communications has found that fracking may result in an increase in the radioactivity of airborne particles and cause adverse health outcomes in nearby communities.

On October 13, the Guardian reported: “The radioactivity rose by 40% compared with the background level in the most affected sites. The increase will be higher for people living closer than 20 kilometres to the fracking sites, which was the closest distance that could be assessed with the available data.”

That article adds: “The Harvard scientists said this could damage the health of people living in nearby communities and that further research was needed to understand how to stop the release of the radioactive elements from under the ground.”

There have also been previously expressed concerns that fracking requires a large amount of water, that it puts groundwater at risk of being contaminated, and that the wastewater produced from fracking contains contaminants that are radioactive.

On October 6, RCN reported the Colombian Minister of Mines and Energy stating that six oil companies have expressed interest in the pilot projects, that the contracts for those pilot projects could be awarded between November and December, and that the pilot projects could start in the first semester of 2021.

Three Canadian companies are believed to seeking those contracts:

1- Toronto-based Sintana Energy and its subsidiary Patriot Energy Oil & Gas Inc. with Irving, Texas-based ExxonMobil in the VMM-37 bock near Puerto Wilches, Santander.

2- Calgary-based Canacol Energy Ltd. and its subsidiary CNE Oil and Gas in a consortium with Houston, Texas-based ConocoPhillips in the VMM-2 and VMM-3 blocks near Puerto Patiño and San Martin, Cesar.

3- Calgary-based Parex Resources in an unspecified location.

In November 2019, Peace Brigades International facilitated a cross-country advocacy tour in Canada with defenders from CCALCP and CREDHOS who raised concerns with Members of Parliament, government officials, the public and allies about the environmental risks and human rights implications of fracking in Colombia.

Categories: News Updates

1 Comment

John Jeglum · October 17, 2020 at 6:29 pm

Warning, once the oil and gas companies are established, it may be very hard to get them to leave. And they may leave without cleaning up the mess around the wells. Or your government may have to pay to clean it up–i.e YOU the citizens pay. You need to make them deposit a clean-up fee with your Oil and Gas Regulator. The other thing, it has become cheaper to install solar or wind plus storage, rather than to install gas power plants for electricity or gas pipelines. And solar and wind is cleaner. See attached.
*Andrew Kurjata. 2019. Oil and gas cleanup costs in B.C. are $3B and rising, auditor general finds–CBC News, 14Mar2019
*Kevin Kemball. 2020. The growing cost to clean up abandoned and orphaned wells- TheConversation, 15Oct2020
*BRUCE NILLES AND MARK DYSON. 2019. Rethinking Future Investments in Natural Gas Infrastructure– ROCKY MOUNTAIN INST. 08Nov2019
Lastly, be certain that your government, and you the people, get fair return for the gas that the companies are extracting. We in B.C. have seen royalties reduce greatly over the last decade. I have some sad stories discussing how we the people get very low returns and compensation for our gas.

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