Observatory highlights risk of ExxonMobil fracking to the Ciénaga El Llanito and the endangered Antillean manatee

Published by Brent Patterson on

Map from Corporacion Observatorio Desarrollo Territorial.

On April 19, the Barrancabermeja, Colombia-based Territorial Development Observatory Corporation published this map based on a map available from the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) and noted: “The Platero Pilot Research Project is located in the municipality of Puerto Wilches, inside the VMM-37 block.”

The Observatory further highlights that the ExxonMobil Platero project is located just 7 kilometres away from the Ciénaga El Llanito (a wetland, marsh or lake area), which is the habitat of the Antillean manatee.

National Geographic has noted that the population of the mature adult Antillean manatee in the wild is estimated to be less than 2,500 and that it is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

And environmental science professor Jairo Puentes has commented that the Llanito wetlands in Barrancabermeja are important because they are a source of food and employment for many fishers, as well as a place of contemplation for locals and tourists.

Puentes also notes: “Llanito is a reservoir without a flowing current which depends on the Sogamoso River to renew its water and redistribute waste products.”

The San Silvestre wetlands connect to the Llanito wetlands.

Canadian company Sintana Energy Inc.

Last week, Toronto-based Sintana Energy Inc. issued this statement that also confirms the Platero project is within the VMM-37 block.

The Canadian company holds a 30 per cent interest “to explore for, develop and produce the unconventional hydrocarbons of the VMM-37 Block.”

The company adds: “Sintana has been and continues to be in positive communications with both ExxonMobil and the ANH [National Hydrocarbons Agency] to ensure that the integrity of both the Company’s commercial arrangements with ExxonMobil and the Contract for VMM-37 with the ANH are honored.”

Webinar on April 29

On Thursday April 29 at 2:30 pm COT/3:30 pm EDT, Peace Brigades International is convening a panel of Colombian environmental defenders to speak on this issue. All four of the Colombian environmental defenders speaking on this webinar have recently received death threats for their environmental activism.

Click here to register to join this fully bilingual (in Spanish and English) webinar.

Manatee habitat in Ciénaga El Llanito de Barrancabermeja remains threatened.


1 Comment

Sebastían Alejandro · April 20, 2021 at 10:46 pm

It’s even worse than that but, the main point of your article is actually great. The Manati. We need to perform like a tink thank procedure; meanwhile the colombian researchers produce more content in terms of investigation, articles even letters or invitations to National Geographic, the international union for conservation of nature or similars in order to film and documentate not only the Manati but the Jaguar, You the international comunity should continue promote and quote organizations like the corporación observatorio desarrollo territorial with great articles like this.

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