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Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 10:21 PM UTC

The Background Of The Oil Business In Panama

Environmental IssuesThe Panamanian economy developed with a perspective of real estate service and investment has been changing in the last years looking for new markets through purely polluting activities. It might be a surprise to some, but not so much for others, but the line according to this Government is natural gas and hydrocarbons.

Law 53 reminds us of how the Government allows exploration and exploitation of strategic minerals in the country at ridiculous costs and earnings such as paying $0.25 per hectare annually to carry out onshore and deep water explorations and $5 per hectare per year during the exploitation stage.

With these politics to “promote” and “regulate” exploration and exploitation activities of deposits of oil, natural asphalt, natural gas, and other hydrocarbons in Panama, is inevitable to think about the role of the Government through the weak institutions we have and the lack of control to enforce Panamanian laws on environmental issues.

What’s even more concerning is to observe how we have been losing territory to give it to foreign capital, and national capital in some cases, for developing different activities using certain procedures to make it seem legal and as if these industries have social and environmental responsibility; proof of this is the existence of deposits of oil in Darien according to the geological study conducted by the company OTS Latin America LLC hand in hand with the approval of Law 53.

This is evidence of the lack of coherence between economic and environmental politics; it is clear there will no longer be a national park, indigenous people or territories, or international agreements or treaties that could define this type of investment previous to its approval by the authorities who apparently suffer from ecological ignorance.

As citizens we can think of the different options we have to strengthen and promote agriculture as the priority of food safety and sovereignty of the country by prioritizing human development and avoiding extractive activities that generate non-internalized social (displacement of people) and environmental (pollution) expenses, which at the end comes out of our own pockets. (Estrella)

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The Background Of The Oil Business In Panama
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 13 2013 @ 01:40 PM UTC

Interesting observation by one who is obviously an environmentalist. However, the author ignores some significant facts ... there is a tiny percentage of the huge land mass that is Panama that has been authorized for mineral development either mining or oil or any other. The indigenous people near the one operating mine have jobs, a new paved road to their community and electricity and safe drinking water all paid for by the mining company.
I'm in favor of controlled, protected growth of profitable industry. The government may only charge a modest annual fee per hectare as rent, but they stand to earn BILLIONs in royalties once the mine and possibly the Darien Oil fields begin to produce marketable products in demand around the world. We just witnessed first hand in a 6-day 2000km driving tour through the western part of Panama how this administration has a been spending a lot of money on things that benefit the residents of the 'interior' - including new hospitals and clinics, repaved roads and new bridges.

Well allocated resources of royalty income might even make a dent in the public education system that shackles those who cant afford private education in Panama.

The Panama agricultural industry is not in danger nor are the beautiful sparsely inhabited jungles or its indigenous inhabitants nor the peaceful pastures that one can admire from any flight across this lovely country.

Monitor the government stewardship, insist on enforcement of reasonable standards, but don't use fear tactics and hyperbole to inhibit the potential for the country to become a dynamic economic force that is not dependent solely on The Canal or touristas.