By Arturo Stevenson
Foreigners are given low-cost oil fields. The increase in social inequalities, the constant deterioration of the environment and the loss of sovereignty, show the interests that our pro-imperialist rulers defend.
According to several analysts, the planet's oil reserves will be insufficient by 2050, as one barrel is discovered and five are spent. They consider as the cause the exacerbated expenditure of this fuel in the last 100 years, which, formed over millions of years in very particular ecological and geological conditions, is on the way to extinction. Its use is of the utmost importance for capitalism, since it represents more than 60% of the energy we consume globally and is, by far, the engine that makes the world as we know it possible. For this reason, the oil multinationals are in a frenzy of exploration in pursuit of such a precious liquid.
At the forefront of this appropriation is the American empire; it knows very well that its scarcity would destroy the American way of life. The United States, with 5% of the world's population, consumes 25% of the oil produced in the world, and of which it imports half. The usurpation of the remaining hydrocarbon reserves is life or death for the Yankees, as the invasion of Iraq demonstrates well.
Colombia is no stranger to oil voracity, since northern South America is listed as the largest hydrocarbon accumulation prospect. The former secretary general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, Álvaro Silva, affirmed that "it has been perfectly demonstrated that with the existing technology the oil reservoir of the Orinoco Belt can be used very efficiently." According to the CIA in the 2008 World Factbook, in practice, Venezuela becomes the country with the largest oil reserves in the world, with 316 billion barrels, above Saudi Arabia, which has 261 billion. This is due to the fact that in previous years the Orinoco deposits were devalued, since they are heavy and extra-heavy, which made their processing and refining difficult; but with the advances in the matter, its extraction and treatment has been facilitated. Colombia is in 41st place with 1,282 million barrels according to this source, which has put our territory in the sights of multinationals; of course, with the agreement of our surrender governors, who offer innumerable facilities for them to expropriate the "liquid gold."
The oil transnationals find in our territory fabulous economic, legal and military benefits that harm the national interest itself. The impudence of the Creole bourgeoisie has no limit, because, to cite a few examples of the Uribista mandate, it has done disadvantageous businesses that bleed our country: it sold ECOGAS and 50 percent of the gas reserves of Chuchupa-Ballenas in La Guajira to Texaco Chevron, with which Colombia loses revenues of around US $ 121 million; the anticipated sale of hundreds of thousands of barrels when crude prices were less than 40 dollars, knowing that the projections indicated the increase in a few months; the extension of the contracts in Arauca with the Occidental Petroleum Company, better known as the OXI, and the beginning of the privatization of the Colombian Petroleum Company, ECOPETROL, knowing that it is the one that reports the most profits for the national Treasury.
The doors are opened to transnational capital to hundreds of thousands of hectares, where they install their drilling and exploitation machines, in enclosed fields and without any unauthorized person being able to go through them; They take over the lands causing the displacement of a large number of families from indigenous reservations of the Amazon, Arauca and Casanare, which defend the right to their property and demand respect for their culture and ancestral territory, without their just claims being addressed. .
Foreigners are granted all the advantages and crude oil fields are delivered at low costs, while for Colombian society fuel prices are enormous. The monopolies in the regions where they explore do not compensate for the great damage to ecosystems and infrastructure, in addition, instead of well-being and development, they have brought violence and the strengthening of paramilitaries for hire, as in the case of the OXI, the BP- Amoco and Spain's Repsol, which have been linked for sponsoring military groups that have violated human rights. The increase in social inequalities, the constant deterioration of the environment and the loss of sovereignty, show the interests that our pro-imperialist rulers defend.
It has recently been verified that in Puerto Gaitán, Meta, near the border with Vichada, in an undervalued deposit called Campo Rubiales, reserves were found five times greater than what had been initially evaluated, which adds up to 500 million barrels to the bill, one of the biggest discoveries in the last decade. According to the Minister of Mines and Energy, Hernán Martínez, that reserve will become the most important for the country, since in Cusiana, between 60,000 and 70,000 barrels are currently extracted, and in Caño Limón 80,000 daily. But when the 235-kilometer Los Llanos Orientales Pipeline comes into operation in the next few months, this new field will begin to produce 120,000 barrels of heavy crude, and by 2010 it will rise to 170,000 a day. The regrettable thing is that this territory had already been paid 60 percent to the Canadian multinational Pacific Rubiales Energy, which in the contract has the right to develop the operations until 2031; In addition, the deposit had been sold above the reserve average in previous years, but with the discovery, the profits for the multinational are hundreds of millions of dollars.
Behind this national bleeding is the well-known multimillionaire Germán Efromovich, owner of Avianca and president of the Sinergy Group, which owns the Ocean Air airline in Brazil.
This subject, a large shareholder of the Canadian oil company, was the most interested in acquiring said properties, which were bought in 2002. The business was insured, since since those years it has the assistance of another Canadian company called NXT, which has technology of latest generation to detect hydrocarbon reserves, consisting in that from an airplane at 3 thousand meters of altitude and with advanced devices and sensors, distortions are found in the gravitational fields of the ground and minor faults, which occur when there are oil deposits, if this occurs in the Rubiales field. Presumably, this prospecting method was used in this territory, which is why this bourgeois was eager to acquire it. As he himself says cynically: "In any business there is only one thing that should matter: the numbers and the economic viability, that is the important thing to know if a business catches your eye or not."
But the servility of the Colombian rulers has no limit; they spun off ECOPETROL, a state industrial company, now with the legal status of a Public Limited Company, which left the way open for its privatization. They modified the general system of royalties, through Law 756 of 2002, reducing the 20% tax on the total production of barrels of oil to a variable percentage of between 8 and 20%, according to the production amounts and other aspects; This reduction has disastrous social implications for the improvement of public services, the hospital network, infrastructure and roads, which would optimize the quality of life of various departments.
It is sad to observe this reality that we are faced with. The oligarchs who hold power are giving the country away to foreigners; Resources that are of utmost importance for economic development are offerings to international capital. This is one more cause to denounce those who govern us with their nefarious logic of subordination and surrender. The submission of the current regime is dishonorable and outrageous, therefore, we must continue to join forces to seek the construction of a new Colombia where our sovereignty is respected.
Arthur Stevenson, Colombia.
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