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Without fracking, other options available

Fracking is important but not essential

The Minister of Mines and Energy, María Fernanda Suárez, said that the exploration and production of energy types through unconventional reservoirs (fracking) is positive for the country. However, there are alternatives in case Colombia does not make progress in regulatory matters.

“In terms of gas, unconventional fields (fracking) is where we see a wider prospectivity of resources. But we have several sources and we are working on all of them. We are working on the offshore issue, the permanent process of assigning areas and enhanced recovery,” said the minister.

Costa Caribe starts offshore exploration

As for offshore, the official said that efforts are concentrated on the Caribbean Coast. There is still no information on the presence of fuels in the Pacific account. It is mentioned that it has high potential, however, it may be some depth. Which increases costs. In other words, it will not be cheap natural gas.

The minister said that in the ongoing process of allocating areas, some areas may be found to have gas. And he emphasized that what is sought with enhanced recovery is to extract a greater amount of gas in areas where the fuel is already present.

Suarez added that, due to the increase in the demand for natural gas in the country, it is necessary to carry out the construction of the Pacific regasification plant.

There is a natural gas deficit starting in 2023.

“With the reserves and projections that exist, between 2021 and 2022, imported natural gas is required to replace domestic demand. To that extent, the Pacific regasification plant is required. We expect the tender documents to come out in the last quarter of 2019,” he explained.

However, it must not be forgotten that we are already importing natural gas through the Cartagena regasification plant, and it is possible that this is one of the reasons why the cost of gas on the coast has increased.

Months ago, the director of the Mining and Energy Planning Unit (Upme), Ricardo Ramírez, had said that the award of the regasification plant should be ready in the first quarter of 2020.

After Ecopetrol informed that it will start fracking in the United States, the minister said that regulatory delays in Colombia may cause the investment to go to other countries.

Investment Manager’ s people are always looking for the best place to invest. Sometimes when we have delays or paperwork we forget that we are competing for capital here and in the rest of the world,” the minister concluded.

Essential to start with fracking pilots

The Government is waiting for a failure of the State Council to give free rein to the development of fracking pilots recommended by the Committee of Experts a couple of months ago.

It is important to know that the resolution can go either way: for or against. It is not for nothing that the practice of fracking has been banned in some countries.

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