In Colombia, the hydrocarbons sector during 2017 presented an important reactivation. 60% more drilling exploratory wells -passing from 21 in 2016 to 54 at the end of 2017-, thanks to the investment in exploration, given among others by the increase in the international price of oil, which for 2017 was above USD $ 50 per barrel.
Today it presents a balance in the market price, between USD $ 60 – USD $ 70 per barrel with reference to Brent crude. For this year it is expected to continue growing both in production, above 860,000 barrels per day, and in exploratory activity above 60 exploratory wells. Despite this good behavior, there are currently at least 25 intentions to develop popular consultations in different municipalities of the national territory, which seek to curb the activity, affecting future oil self-sufficiency and in general the economic and social development of all Colombians. According to estimates made in Acipet, if this panorama were presented, the country would no longer receive not only the USD $ 15,000 million per year on average generated by the industry in terms of exports, but the USD $ 7,000 to 8,000 million average that it would have to allocate per year to meet the needs of importing oil into the country, impacting social investment, the provision of public goods and imported goods for all our nationals. Understanding the responsibility of the Association with its professionals and with Colombians, Acipet and Cenit / Ecopetrol signed a contract to develop more than 3,000 regional pedagogy workshops, with which it seeks to reach more than 600 municipalities in the country, in a period of 3 years, whose objective is to deliver first-hand information to Colombians so that, if necessary, they make informed decisions, with elements of judgment about the oil activity, its practices, associated risks, sectorial and business policies at the socio-environmental preservation level of the environment and water, access to generated resources and social relations as primary objectives. These workshops involve the communities of the areas of direct influence of the industry, the urban centers of the municipalities, the secondary school students, as well as the local and regional authorities. The pedagogy process began in December 2017 and to date 210 workshops have been carried out, about 60 municipalities have been visited nationwide and more than 4,700 people have been reached. It is estimated that for the rest of the year 170 municipalities will be reached where at least 800 additional workshops will be developed. In the same vein, with the National Hydrocarbons Agency, ANH, a similar pedagogy process will begin in 13 municipalities associated with exploration and production activities, where there are movements to carry out popular consultations against the sector and in which The municipalities with potential in the exploitation activities of generating rock deposits, better known as unconventional, stand out. In these municipalities, participation spaces with the community and its authorities will be opened to transmit the best information related to the oil activity. Municipalities such as Simacota, Santander, Aguachica and San Martín in El César; Guamal and La Macarena in El Meta; Yopal, Aguazul and Paz de Ariporo in Casanare and Arauca, Saravena and Arauquita in Arauca, are part of the route of these spaces of oil socialization. In relation to this issue, Acipet makes a call to the Constitutional Court, so that in the public hearing that will be held next Thursday, April 12, where the review of the judgments of guardianship that opened space for consultations will be discussed Popular could limit oil and mining activity in the regions, it is a place for a wide, open, frank, documented dialogue and with an equitable intervention, to make decisions in law and with the best information. The development of the extractive activity in the country depends to a great extent on this decision and since the intervention of the Association was denied in the aforementioned hearing, we request that the document of more than 100 pages that Acipet presented in defense of the industry. On the other hand, Acipet expresses its concern with the decision taken by ANLA regarding the suspension of licenses and permits of all drilling activities and activities of improved recovery projects in the Magdalena Medio, after the unfortunate situation occurred with the La Lizama well. In this region, more than 3,000 wells have been drilled and 250 to 300 million barrels have been produced over 100 years of activity, so it is not objective to state that as a precautionary principle activities should be suspended, not counting with the technical and scientific analyzes and evaluations that should characterize said environmental authority and responding largely to media pressures and certain interest groups that are expressing their opposition to the national oil industry. Our invitation is for ANLA to open spaces for dialogue with entities such as ours, who as a consultative body of the National Government, in accordance with the provisions of Law 20 of 1984, are able to provide support in a technical, transparent and objective manner and to clarify the concerns and doubts that may arise, but without this meaning a paralysis of oil activity in this important area of the country. Regarding what happened at the La Lizama well, Acipet reiterates the public offer to carry out a technical and in-depth analysis of what happened, after the final control and clogging activities are finished, with the aim of generating truthful, objective and scientific information. of what happened, as an opportunity for improvement with the results of the evaluation. For 2018, an investment in the sector close to USD $ 6,000 million is expected, however, the effects of the electoral situation are holding back the investment due to the concern of what could be the final result of the political contest. The above is reflected in the Sinú-San Jacinto round where this week, unfortunately, the National Hydrocarbons Agency had to postpone the allocation, since the 6 companies prequalified to acquire the 15 blocks offered, said they were not in a position to make investments given the current scenario from the country. We must take advantage of the possibilities that Colombia still has to develop the oil industry, in the hands of a responsible energy and productive transition, based on efficiency, reliability and technological neutrality and being transparent with the information provided to Colombians, without promising that the country can live on renewable energy in the short term, while oil and hydrocarbons can contribute significantly to the sustainable development of all Colombians. In a country without oil, we lose all.