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Mon May 27, 2019, 11:46 PM

Colombia hints it could green-light fracking, despite warnings

by Maryanne Schiffman May 27, 2019

Colombia ‘s government hinted last week that it will permit fracking by foreign oil companies, despite the comptroller’s office warning this would have “catastrophic and irreversible” consequences.

Making the rounds in the media, Energy Minister Maria Fernanda Suarez, a former vice president of state-run oil company Ecopetrol, attempted to re-open debate over the controversial oil extraction method by claiming that Colombia’s conventional energy reserves will be exhausted in less than seven years.

Citing a study by the National Hydrocarbon Agency predicting that, in the absence of new oil reserve discoveries, Colombia could need to start importing oil by 2023, Suarez argued that the country should “bring the discussion back to a technical level and remove the emotion that has so far characterized the debate.”

However during the 2016 presidential campaign, then candidate Ivan Duque got quite emotional about fracking himself, admonishing Colombians that “no fracking project can be viable that will put into risk underground aquifers, biodiversity, or fragile ecosystems of this country.”


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