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Occidental Petroleum - Oil Recovery Project

In 2005, Occidental Andina, LLC, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy) entered into an enhanced oil recovery project with Ecopetrol S.A., the Colombian state oil company. The project takes place in La Cira, the country’s oldest oil field, located in a region that has been impacted by armed conflict and diminishing economic opportunities. To assure positive impacts to the local community, to comply with Ecopetrol’s Integral Responsibility Policy, and to meet Oxy’s human rights policy, the two parties decided that a rigorous stakeholder engagement and social assessment process was needed before the project could enter into its long-term implementation phase.

One other important issue concerned the proximity of oil field operations and residential dwellings. Stakeholder dialogue enhanced by the company/NGO collaboration, successfully engaged the community in an initiative to discontinue the practice of connecting household stoves to abandoned oil wells and fostered conversion to containerized propane fuel.
Continuous burning of natural gas from the wells for household use, while providing a perceived “free” source of energy, was unsafe and wasteful. By ending this practice, up to 200 million cubic feet of natural gas is being saved annually.