Comptroller's final study: Fracking, catastrophic and irreversible

Comptroller's final study: Fracking, catastrophic and irreversible

A milestone in the history of fracking would be this study that has the economic team of La W in the first place and that qualifies this unconventional deposit technique as catastrophic and irreversible for the country.

For the fifth time, the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic, and this time with a study of more than 200 pages, signed by the former Comptroller General Edgardo Maya and the current Comptroller Carlos Felipe Córdoba, reiterates that fracking has been insufficiently studied, so the State definitely has not. is ready for him.

This study reviews the terrible consequences that this technique has brought in various countries of the world, with specific cases of spills, incidents with pipes, high levels of contamination, etc. And focusing on Colombia, strongly warns that it is essential to take additional precautions, to deepen a higher level of knowledge about the vulnerability of ecosystems and about the impacts of new techniques, as well as the adequate preparation of the institution responsible for the control and surveillance of activities to increase their capacity. of acting. All this, he reiterates, before developing a public policy whose results can be disastrous.

Let's look at the details. Colombia, says the control entity, has some geoenvironmental characteristics that must be studied in depth in order to avoid environmental risks in the event of an eventual development of the exploration and exploitation of unconventional deposits in its sedimentary basins of interest.

In addition, the management of underground water resources in areas of interest for the development of unconventional reservoirs raises great expectations, not only because of what it represents in terms of supply, but also because of the environmental risks to which the aquifers could be exposed in the different stages. of exploration and exploitation, due to the degree of ignorance of them.

The study cites natural phenomena or activities that could occur taking into account internal and external factors. For example: the handling, transport, storage and use of dangerous substances (chemicals, sludge, oils, fluids) used for hydraulic fracturing on the surface, and whose internal and external factors can be tank breaks, equipment failures, geomembrane breakage, accidental overfills ... lack of information regarding the frequency, quantity and concentrations of chemicals used in fracturing.

And now let's talk about another big problem: legal uncertainty. Today, the Comptroller highlights, 16 regulations related to the exploration and exploitation of non-conventional deposits have been generated, of which 14 have interference in the technical-environmental component and 2 in the administrative component: In decreasing order, the Ministry of Mines and Energy has issued 5 rules, followed by the ANH, with 4 rules; the Ministry of Environment, with 3 standards, the Colombian Geological Service, 2 standards, and the Administrative Department of the Presidency, 1 standard.

And it launches a strong criticism of one entity: the control entity says that the ANH awarded Blocks for the exploration and production of Non-Conventional Reservoirs in the 2014 Round, without having an environmental regulatory framework or the basic knowledge that would allow defining environmental restrictions on the implementation of fracking for the exploitation of said deposits, leading to environmental risks or the establishment of future scenarios of claim or withdrawal by the holders of these Blocks.

Like this, there are many more details that can already be consulted on our website, and to which we will dedicate a series of deliveries. The truth is that this study, first known by La W, would set a pattern in the legal authorities that evaluate the issue and even in the Government itself.

You can view and download the complete document at the following link:

Video: Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium at Texas Tech (October 2020).