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State Council Nullifies Directives on Prior Consultation

One of the most frustrating aspects of working in the Colombian countryside is the unclear boundaries of “prior consultation”. The constitution and international agreements require ethnic minorities to be consulted on issues that affect them – like infrastructure or resource development – but Congress has never dared to pass a law that regulates what this means. This is partially because such a law would itself have to be consulted before passage and there is a reasonable expectation that the affected minorities prefer the current ambiguity. Without a legal framework, work has progressed based on decrees and administrative procedures. Recently, the State Council nullified one of the fundamental decrees. The team at Brigard Urrutia wrote an opinion on the implications for oil and gas companies.

Sunday, September 10th, 2023
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Peace Process – It should have been a better month

With the ELN ceasefire starting, this should have been a positive month. It wasn’t. The ELN were doing their usual things to undermine Colombians’ confidence and even the High Peace Commissioner expressed impatience with the dissident FARC.

Monday, September 4th, 2023
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There’s one for you, nineteen for me

There’s one for you, nineteen for me

Ecopetrol’s Net Income looks to fall just over 40% this year with most of the decrease coming from E&P. What causes that? Lower oil prices? Higher costs as President Gustavo Petro turns the NOC into his social agenda’s “petty cash”? Or, as the press release put it, tax reform?

Tuesday, August 29th, 2023
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Talking heads

“Both the government and the industry have decided to change spokespersons, which opens doors to new communication within the sector. However, delicate matters like signing new contracts will require extensive efforts from both sides.” We quoted Juan Felipe Neira, a professor at Universidad Externado in an article about Frank Pearl coming to the ACP and a new MinEnergia, Andrés Camacho.

Monday, August 21st, 2023
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Comfortably Numb

Comfortably Numb

We have been waiting a year to write this article: the impact on Colombian oil and gas share prices – and especially that of Ecopetrol – after a year of the “Illuminati” and President Gustavo Petro (“I’m not apocalyptic”) management of the energy sector. Meh!

Monday, August 14th, 2023
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One down. Three to go.

Most of you will pick this article up on Tuesday August 8th 2023 and so Colombia will officially be in Gustavo Petro’s second year as president. Based on what he said in the campaign and announced in his inauguration speech we had certain expectations – perhaps fears. How much has really happened and what can we expect going forward?

Monday, August 7th, 2023
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Peace Process – Working through the details

I collected a few more articles this month (99) than last month (94) and Colombia had some dramatic incidents. But mostly this month was working through the details of the ELN ceasefire that starts the first week of August. More discussions in Buenaventura and trying to get back to the table with Alias Mordisco kept the High Commissioner and the President busy.

Monday, July 31st, 2023
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The file remains the same

The file remains the same

Last year, we guess BP tired of doing the industry’s statistical gathering for free. Whatever the reason, it spun out the division doing this work and the Energy Institute took over creating and publishing the Statistical Review of World Energy Data.

Monday, July 24th, 2023
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The price is wrong

We used to joke about the Colombian government’s “Magic Formula” which it supposedly used to set gasoline and diesel prices. Events of the past few years have proven that, if there ever was a “magic formula”, governments abandoned it in the pandemic. Politicians set prices using political criteria (what a surprise!) and economics or finance play a limited role. Now the Petro government sends signals that it plans a radical restructuring of fuel pricing and we think it shows it / his thinking about the broader energy sector.

Monday, July 17th, 2023
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Return to sender

Return to sender

In its passion to avoid auctioning additional oil and gas exploration contracts, the Petro government wants to revive 39 blocks that the ANH has suspended at the companies’ request. Is there really an opportunity to “return the suspension request to sender” and create new reserves and production? And if so, how much production could be affected?

Monday, July 10th, 2023
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