Canadian company moves toward fracking in the Magdalena Medio region of Colombia
Colombian environmental defender Yuli Velasquez opposes fracking.
The Colombian business information portal Portfolio reports: “A new hydrocarbon company began to appear on the radar for fracking tasks for the development of unconventional deposits (YNC) in the national territory.”
“This is the Canadian multinational Canacol, which announced in recent days the first exploratory results of an independent prospective evaluation of shale oil in two of its blocks (VMM-2 and VMM-3), in the Magdalena Medio basin.”
The article further notes that Canacol’s development partner for the VMM-2 block is ExxonMobil, while in the VMM-3 block it is ConocoPhillips and Shell.
Canacol vice-president Mark Teare says: “Canacol has moved quickly to secure partners such as ConocoPhillips Colombia, ExxonMobil and Shell to undertake de-risking the potential of these resources in the three blocks [VMM-2, VMM-3 and Santa Isabel].”
Last week, Canacol CEO Charle Gamba stated: “[The] independent assessment of the prospective unconventional resources reaffirms the materiality and significant potential of Canacol’s unconventional shale oil blocks.”
Gamba further commented that the approval of the ExxonMobil Platero and Ecopetrol Kale fracking pilot projects are “positive steps towards realizing the commercial potential of the unconventional shale oil field in Colombia and specifically for the resources prospects that we have through our position in the Middle Magdalena Valley basin.”
Notably, the ExxonMobil Platero fracking pilot project is located on the VMM-37 block in which another Canadian transnational corporation – Toronto-based Sintana Energy Inc. – has a 30 per cent interest.
There is also the concern that other Canadian companies could become involved in fracking in Colombia, notably Parex Resources.
In 2017, Oscar Sampayo noted: “What worries us is that in 2014 Parex directly entered Magdalena Medio in block VMM9. This block is located in the municipality of Simitarra in Santander. That block is destined for the development of a nonconventional deposit using fracking.”
PBI-Canada continues to follow this situation closely.