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