Colombian Congress debates ban on fracking as Canadian companies express interest in unconventional resources

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Ivan Madero (on the left) of the PBI-Colombia accompanied CREDHOS recently spoke in opposition to fracking on a webinar organized by PBI-Canada and Above Ground.

The Alliance for a Colombia Free of Fracking has tweeted: “Today, Wednesday, June 16, all of Colombia with its attention focused on the debate in Congress of the bill to prohibit fracking in the country.”

It has also retweeted: “Today, a bill that seeks to ban fracking is being debated in Congress. Its contribution to climate change and its potential damage to the environment and health are sufficient reasons for its prohibition.”

There are at least three Canadian companies supportive or interested in fracking in Colombia.

Calgary-based Canacol Energy

On April 21, Valora Analitik reported: “Canacol Energy announced today the first results of an independent prospective evaluation of resources in the VMM 2 and VMM 3 blocks prepared by [Calgary-based] Boury Global Energy Consultants (BGEC) in the Magdalena Medio basin, one of the main areas identified to develop fracking pilots in Colombia.”

Canacol CEO Charle Gamba stated: “BGEC’s independent assessment of the prospective unconventional resources reaffirms the materiality and significant potential of Canacol’s unconventional shale oil blocks.”

Canacol holds a 20 per cent stake in the VMM-2/Plata and VMM-3/Piranga projects. ConocoPhillips holds the remaining 80 per cent stake.

Toronto-based Sintana Energy Inc.

On April 16, Sintana stated: “Sintana Energy Inc. is pleased to comment on the ExxonMobil Exploration Colombia Limited bid for a Comprehensive Research Pilot Project (CEPI) in the unconventional formations of Block VMM-37 (Project Platero) and its acceptance and award by Colombia’s National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH).”

It added: “CEPI process should now provide an effective path forward for the testing and production of source rock hydrocarbons in future operations.”

Calgary-based Parex Resources Inc.

On March 18, 2019, Reuters reported: “Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips, Parex and state-run oil company Ecopetrol are among those [interested in six fracking blocs in Colombia], Mines and Energy Minister Maria Fernanda Suarez said in an interview.”

This past January, Canadian lawyer David Boyd, who is the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights on the environment, spoke at a Congressional public hearing in favour of a law to prohibit fracking in Colombia.

PBI-Canada has highlighted the human rights implications of fracking in Colombia and will follow today’s debate in the Colombian Congress.

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