The bid round, called Ronda Colombia 2010, had as its slogan “Colombia: The perfect environment for hydrocarbons.” Now we get to see which part of that slogan wins out — the hydrocarbons part or the “perfect environment” part.
You can see if you look at the shape of the Caguan river that this is almost certainly the same place. One population of the monkeys appears to be within the so-called CAG-5 block, while the other population is probably outside the exploration area.
On winning the block June 23, Rubiales said:
CAG 5 Block: This block was awarded to a joint venture formed by the company’s subsidiary, Meta Petroleum Corp. (50%) and Talisman (50%). The block is a Type 3 Special Technical Evaluation Agreement (TEA) block with an area of 372,036 hectares located towards the central part of the Caguan Basin. During the 36 months of the first exploration phase, the joint venture will invest US$82.2 million in the acquisition of 1,846 km of multi-spectral analysis, 1,152 km of 2D seismic, and the drilling of five stratigraphic wells. The winning bid carries an additional royalty of 2%. The block is located just to the north of the company’s Tacacho and Terecay Contracts. The company believes that this block has a very high potential for hydrocarbon accumulation and should maintain the continuity of the Tacacho and Terecay structures towards the north.
Seismic exploration generally involves driving machines along more or less straight lines through the territory and vibrating the ground to detect the geology. Rather like a purring monkey, only bigger.
No one at Pacific Rubiales was immediately available to comment.
The area of southern Colombia in question was under guerrilla control for a long time, making it off-limits for both biologists and oil companies. Now, the government has secured the area and is handing out oil exploration licenses before the biologists can conduct even the level of surveys that detects mammals, much less the slow, difficult work of finding new species of lizards, butterflies, fish or frogs.