Colombian Petroleum Association comments on court ruling suspending fracking pilot projects

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: Francisco Jose Lloreda Mera, President of the Colombian Petroleum Association (Asociación Colombiana del Petróleo/ACP).

To register for the PBI webinar on May 8 on the human rights and environmental implications of fracking in Colombia, please click here.

Earlier this month, El Espectador reported: “The first oral administrative court of the judicial circuit of Barrancabermeja ruled this April 21 on a guardianship in which it orders to protect the fundamental right to prior consultation of the Afro-Colombian Corporation of Puerto Wilches [Afrowilches].”

“[The court] orders the suspension of the environmental license of the pilot projects of fracking known as Kalé, granted at the end of last March through resolution No. 00648 of the National Environmental Licensing Authority (ANLA), and Platero, until the process of prior consultation with the aforementioned corporation is developed in all its stages.”

That article adds: “The protection was filed by the Afrowilches Corporation, represented by the Podion Corporation, the José Alvear Restrepo Collective [CCAJAR] and the Alliance for a Colombia Free of Fracking.”

The ACP responds

In this interview, Portafolio asks Francisco José Lloreda Mera, “How do you analyze the tutelage that suspended the ‘fracking’ pilots?” He says:

“What happened is very serious for the legal security of the country. It is up to the Ministry of the Interior and the National Authority for Environmental Licenses (ANLA) to verify, ascertain and assess the presence or absence of indigenous or Afro communities in the area of ​​influence of the pilot projects. Beforehand they conceptualized that these communities are not here. And a judge, to whom this competence does not correspond, without further support, and abusing the instrument of guardianship, ordered the initiatives to be suspended.”

In 2018, Colombia produced about 865,205 barrels of oil per day.

In December 2018, Lloreda stated: “We are a long way from a million barrels, although it could be achieved with fracking.”

Ecopetrol to appeal court ruling

On April 21, Infobae reported: “After the Barrancabermeja First Court notified Ecopetrol of the suspension of the Kalé and Platero fracking pilot projects, which were to be developed in Puerto Wilches, Santander, the company said it would appeal the ruling. According to the Colombian oil company, it has met all the requirements to implement the process and, in addition, it has verified that it does not affect communities and the environment.”

Ecopetrol is the state oil company that would operate both pilot projects.

Webinar, May 8

Please join us on Sunday May 8 when we will hear about the popular resistance to fracking in Colombia, the threats being experienced by environmental defenders opposed to fracking, and the role of Canadian corporations (including Toronto-based Scotiabank) in fracking and oil and gas generally in Colombia.

Our panel will feature environmental defender Carolina Agón, Aguawil activist Yuvelis Morales and Oil Change International researcher Bronwen Tucker.

The webinar will be moderated by PBI-Canada Board member Luis van Isschot. He is a professor of history at the University of Toronto and the author of The Social Origins of Human Rights: Protesting Political Violence in Colombia’s Oil Capital, 1919–2010.

The webinar will be available with simultaneous translation in English and Spanish.

To register, please click here.

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