Colombia eyes fracking as conventional oil wanes


Fracking faces uphill battle in Colombia. (Gert Steenssens/Esperanza Próxima)

Colombia’s traditional oil reserves have been dwindling for over two decades, and the government says that at the country’s current rate of consumption, they’ll be exhausted in a little over six years if no new ones are found. And current natural gas reserves, officials estimate, will be gone in under 10 years. Yet geological studies have detected so-called unconventional reserves of oil and gas in underground shale formations. This has set off a debate between those who want to exploit the formations, thereby effectively expanding reserves, and those who view the process needed to do so—hydraulic fracturing, or fracking—as an environmental threat. Fracking involves the injection through a wellbore of water and chemicals to open cracks in rock deep underground so shale oil and gas is released. Opposition to its use in Colombia is coming not only from environmental groups, but also from communities that for years... [Log in to read more]

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