The current situation of the country’s oil and gas reserves has been raised from different unions in the hydrocarbons sector and from the government, through the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the ANH, with the imperative conclusion of the need to increase Available volume of these resources.
To this, the support provided by the Comptroller’s Office in the unconventional fields is added, under the premise expressed by Ecopetrol and shared by the experts: “the important thing is not to do it fast, it is to do it well”.
Mentioning only gas, in the country today there are 9.5 million users, corresponding to each family or each vehicle, which translates into 40 million Colombians who use this resource, not to mention the increasing industrial and generation use through this source If we continue with this growing pace in the demand for this fuel, which was in 2018 of 15%, gas reserves will continue to decline and we would have to import it, with a current horizon of 9.8 years of self-sufficiency, if not Add reservations to the portfolio.
On the other hand, greater use of gas represents good news for the country in terms of the reduction in CO2 emissions, due to the reduction in the use of other sources such as coal and liquid hydrocarbons, which positively impacts the environment; The worrying thing about this increase in demand is that we don’t have replacement reserves in the short term for that growing rate.
According to a study by the National Energy Agency, it is expected that by 2040 the use of gas worldwide will increase from 20% to 25%. In this scenario, for the country the unconventional deposits related to shale gas constitute the main source to guarantee the supply in the energy basket. That is why, Colombia works on the roadmap that covers technical, contractual, legal, environmental and social aspects, for the development of this type of projects starting with fracking pilots in unconventional deposits of this type, such as A first step towards the future development of production projects for this hydrocarbon.
With the development of the potential in YNC’s prospective watersheds for gas production, the Ministry of Mines and Energy estimates an additional 35 to 50 years to the current reserve portfolio. In line with this, the report presented by the Committee of Experts acquires relevance, because the Ministry of Mines and Energy announced that it will accept the recommendations, where the conclusions are based on environmental and social aspects, which should be sought in the integral pilot research projects of the application of fracking in YNC associated with shale hydrocarbons.
In that sense, Poland’s experience is a case of success within the learning curve for Colombia. Poland has depended on Russia in 2/3 of the gas supply for its internal consumption, and for this reason they developed a model for the exploration of unconventional deposits, in order to phase out energy, economic and political dependence.
In addition, Poland, upon entering the European Union in 2004, promised to reduce CO2 emissions, and this would be achieved through hydraulic fracturing in the search for gas. This country established a structured path in terms of regulations, consultation of communities and control systems.
In a study conducted by the Polish Ministry of Environment, they were able to conclude that hydraulic fracturing operations did not cause any environmental damage. Nor were changes in the composition of groundwater or surface water, or any deterioration of soil conditions or concentrations of radioactive elements.
The operations in this country did not affect water resources and there were no vibrations generated by seismic movements derived from the fracture of the rock. In the study, they analyzed all phases during three years of the unconventional gas exploration activity in seven wells located in the Pomeranian and Lublin regions.
Poland was the first country in Europe to have knowledge, which allowed to dissipate myths and contribute to a safer execution of exploration and extraction of these resources in the future. It is important to clarify that this country finally did not find the reserves that it expected, however, the path they followed allowed them to have a positive balance between the environment and the communities. It is also worth mentioning that Poland’s prospecting was not as expected, however, the route they followed showed that such projects can be done without impacting the environment.
From Acipet, we are concerned that Colombia has a peremptory time to develop projects that will ensure self-sufficiency beyond the current threshold, and this time is very close to the time required to place any confirmed finding made at this time in the commercial development phase. .
For this reason, the call to action is urgent, so that, through the learning curve developed by other countries such as the case of Poland, it allows us to shorten the path towards the development of these resources, which leads to avoid energy dependence in such a changing geopolitical environment, with the economic and social consequences that would mean having to import hydrocarbons to meet the country’s demand. Carlos Alberto Leal Niño President of the Board of Directors of Acipet