This was Holy Week in Colombia, Easter in the Christian calendar, and by luck it corresponded this year with a holiday on Monday, March 25. This meant most of Colombia was on vacation virtually the whole week and the Armed Forces turned their focus to ensuring there were no embarrassing incidents affecting tourists. Lining the roads with soldiers when city dwellers are on the highways is also good publicity. Incidents were down this week to 34, below the long term average.
As reported by the Colombian news media, during the General Assembly, Javier Gutiérrez, President of Ecopetrol, said that because of the 109 attacks against the oil infrastructure of the company, last year nearly 9,559bd were lost, of which 6,000bd correspond to Ecopetrol. For this reason, since last year the company added new monitoring technology, strengthened the inspection and maintenance procedures for pipelines and transportation systems. He added: “We are investing to anticipate such attacks and maintain transport infrastructure integrity, for which we are spending US$359M.” Gutierrez said that Ecopetrol invested US$5.3M to strengthen contingency plans, drills and inform about 1,350 communities.
Incidents were down this week to 40 just about the long term average. Again this week a higher than recent average number of the items were initiated by the Armed Forces which is a good sign. In fact, the ratio is sufficiently high to think that either the traditional media are only reporting extreme events or the Farc are relatively quiet. (On average during the past year, 75% of incidents have been initiated by the Armed Forces and this week the percentage is 90%.) Our 4-week Moving Average was up slightly at 43 incidents per week closer to what amounts to a long-term average.
This week concluded the seventh round of peace talks and both the government and the FARC commented on it. The parties issued a joint statement in which they say: “We continue to make progress on discussion of the first item on the agenda and in building agreements on issues of access and use of land, undeveloped land, property formalization, agricultural frontier and protection of reserves areas.”
Caracol Radio reported that the government will use drones to monitor and protect the Cano Limon Coveñas and TranAandino pipelines. Additionally, the government will increase the rewards to prevent attacks on pipelines and also will use twenty helicopters recently purchased for the same purpose.
Mayor General (R) Jorge Rodríguez Clavijo addressed the Colombo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce this morning, and while he was realistic about the challenges, he was upbeat about the changes in the past 10 years and about the Santos government’s efforts in the field. He stayed away from political issues like the peace talks or the impact of Venezuela and kept to the facts.
Incidents were up this week to 44 just over the long term average. Again this week a higher than recent average number of the items were initiated by the Armed Forces which is a good sign. (On average during the past year, 75% of incidents have been initiated by the Armed Forces and this week the percentage is 87%.) Our 4-week Moving Average was flat at 42 incidents per week closer to what amounts to a long-term average.
Peace talks advance based on the approval of President Santos and new proposals from the FARC. In recent statements, Santos said: “My conclusion, after talking extensively with the committee that is in Havana, is that the process is going well: they are working on the construction of an agreement that never before has been done in Colombia.” Indeed, Santos was so optimistic with the progress that he said achieving peace is a matter of months: “This is how conflicts end, here and anywhere in the world: with serious and disciplined working on drafting an agreement with concrete commitments. If we keep the pace of the last few weeks, it is perfectly possible to complete the work in months.”
It is barely visible in the graph but February 2013 oil production in Colombia dipped to 997,581bd from 1,011,992bd in January 2013. We had predicted this based on the incidence of attacks just on the Caño-Limón pipeline and government ministers had shied away from predictions. What is not in this report by MinMinas is the fact that Pacific Rubiales claims that its production is running higher by over 30,000bd after royalties compared to December (probably over 37,000bd before royalties). That means the sum of the rest of the industry is producing less. From a MinMinas press release, translated and with commentary by Hydrocarbons Colombia.
Incidents were down again this week to 40 just a little below the long term average. Again this week a higher than recent average number of the items were initiated by the Armed Forces which is a good sign. Our 4-week Moving Average was down very slightly and it now sits at 42 incidents per week closer to what amounts to a long-term average.