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News > Colombia

President Duque Authorizes First Fracking Project in Colombia

  • Activists mobilized to reject the use of fracking, Santander, Colombia, Dec. 13. The signs read,

    Activists mobilized to reject the use of fracking, Santander, Colombia, Dec. 13. The signs read, " No to fracking in Colombia." | Photo: Twitter/ @ColombiaNoFrack

Published 31 December 2020

The Kale project is managed by Ecopetrol which will use the fracking technique on 455 hectares of the Magdalena River basin.

The Association Against Fracking in Colombia rejected a US$ 76 million contract signed between the National Hydrocarbons Agency (NHA) and the Colombian oil company Ecopetrol to start fracking practices in the country.


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Once the environmental licenses are obtained, Ecopetrol will launch the Kale project which will use the hydraulic fracking technique in Puerto Wilches, in the Santander department. 

Drilling will begin in mid-2021 on 455 hectares of the Magdalena River basin where the non-conventional hydrocarbon fields are projected to be at a depth of 3,000 meters. 

Environmentalist defenders warned that the approval of the project constitutes "a death sentence against ecosystems" while noting President Ivan Duque broke a campaign's promise when he said he would not allow fracking projects.

"The President gave the green light to carry out the Kale 1 fracking pilot... people who live in Wilches are against it because it will destroy our biodiversity and contaminate our waters," environmental activist Hender Acuña said. 

The meme reads, "Goodbye Fracking from Puerto Wilches, Santander."

On August 28, the Lower Chamber rejected a proposal to reduce the royalties that oil companies would pay for fracking projects, following a decision by the Executive branch to allow the technique.

Next year, Ecopetrol, Drumond, and Exxonmobil will develop fracking projects, some of which will be carried out in the Magdalena Valley basin and the Cesar-Rancheria basin. 

"On Dec, 24, while Colombians were celebrating Christmas,  the Duque administration scored another goal by signing the first contract to do fracking in Colombia," Bogota town councilor Julian Rodriguez said.

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