Calgary-based Parex Resources comments on the impact of the national strike on its oil operations in Colombia
The Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project accompanied CREDHOS on a recent national strike march in Barrancabermeja.
On May 17, Calgary-based Parex Resources Inc. issued a statement on the impact of the national strike on its oil operations in Colombia.
Their statement notes: “A series of protests across Colombia during May 2021 have resulted in transportation blockades that have restricted the production and marketing of Parex’ crude oil. Additionally, the transportation blockades impeded the supply of materials required for capital expenditure activities, including drilling and completions.”
The company highlights: “The blockades were not directly related to Parex’ activities or those of its industry partners.”
It then adds: “Going forward we expect to continue restarting our normal operations and production, subject to the lifting of blockades in the Llanos Basin.” Furthermore: “Parex is proactively planning to resume … exploration and growth activities [in four blocks], subject to the transportation blockades being lifted.”
Parex also notes: “In many instances Parex has continued to receive the support of the communities where we operate, live and work.”
Just prior to World Water Day this year, the Regional Corporation for the Defence of Human Rights (CREDHOS) tweeted: “For a healthy environment, CREDHOS accompanies and supports the processes in defense of water in the territory. We highlight the struggle of the Bajo Simacota community against contamination by oil spills, caused by Parex.”
Last week more than 130 environmental groups, including CREDHOS, announced their participation in the national strike. Their demands include: “Protect the lives and integrity of environmental defenders who have been threatened, attacked and killed for their legitimate work of caring for and protecting nature.” That concern would likely extend to the criminalization and judicialization of defenders.
CREDHOS has highlighted that community members undertook a blockade of the Parex oil field in Simacota in March 2020. By September of that year, Parex had taken two social leaders to court over this protest claiming it had harmed their good name. But by October, a municipal court had dismissed the company’s challenge against the social leaders.
The statement from environmental groups also highlights: “Prohibit fracking, exploitation of unconventional deposits and new offshore deposits; to replace fossil fuel exploitation in the short term and halt the construction of new thermoelectric plants to move towards a fair energy transition as an urgent measure in the face of the climate emergency.”
In March 2019, Colombian energy minister Maria Fernanda Suarez named Parex as one of the companies interested in the fracking pilot projects.
We continue to follow this situation.
PBI-Colombia has accompanied CREDHOS since 1994.