Calgary-based Parex Resources bids on 18 oil exploration blocks in Colombia, as concerns continue in Bajo Simacota

Published by Brent Patterson on

PBI-Canada and PBI-Colombia visited the El Diviso village in Bajo Simacota to hear community concerns about Parex Resources; July 13, 2021.

On December 2, Offshore Engineer reported: “Colombia received bids for 30 blocks from seven companies during its latest oil and gas auction.”

“Parex Resources placed more than half of the bids during [the December 1] meeting, while Colombia’s majority state-owned oil company Ecopetrol and its own subsidiary, Hocol, bid on five blocks. Other companies that placed bids included Lewis Energy, Maurel & Prom, Frontera Energy, and CNE Oil & Gas, which is owned by Canacol Energy.”

Then on December 8, Upstream Online reported: “Canada’s Parex Resources was in the thick of the action [last week], making highest bids for 18 areas. Fellow Canadians Canacol Energy and Frontera Energy also submitted winning bids, while Colombia’s own Ecopetrol and its Hocol subsidiary bid on five blocks.”

Offshore Engineer adds: “The next stage of the licensing round will take place on Dec. 16, when companies can present counter-offers for blocks that have received bids.”

Parex and Aguas Blancas

On July 13, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project tweeted: “Heather Neun from @PBIcanada with the support of @Credhos_Paz saw in person the environmental effects, including on water sources, produced by the Canadian company Parex Resources in the El Diviso village in Bajo Simacota.”

Timeline

In January 2017, CRY-GEAM posted this video on Facebook noting that Parex Resources did not have the needed environmental documents for the Aguas Blancas field.

Then in April 2017, CRY-GEAM posted this photo on Facebook of a truck with concerns about runoff into the Colorada River.

Also in April 2017, CRY-GEAM posted this video on Twitter with the text: “Parex in Simacota, Campo Aguas Blancas, without archaeological management plan, without environmental permit, above the law and communities. Who responds?”

When CREDHOS president Ivan Madero visited Ottawa in November 2019 on a PBI-Canada organized advocacy tour, he raised his concerns about Parex at a meeting with Export Development Canada (EDC).

CREDHOS has highlighted that community members undertook a blockade of the Parex oil field in Simacota in March 2020.

By September 2020, Parex had taken two social leaders to court over this protest claiming it had harmed their good name. Adolfo Salinas Coba, one of the social leaders taken to court by Parex, says: “We defend water, because water is life, and I would not exchange a glass of water for a glass of oil.”

By October 2020, a municipal court had dismissed the company’s challenge against the two social leaders.

In March 2021, 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.”

Beyond these concerns, Parex may also be interested in fracking in Colombia. In March 2019, Colombian energy minister Maria Fernanda Suarez named Parex as one of the companies interested in the fracking pilot projects.

PBI-Colombia has accompanied CREDHOS since 1994.

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