GEOPARK COLOMBIA

Colombia 2019 | ENERGY & MINING | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Marcela Vaca, General Director of GeoPark Colombia.

Marcela Vaca
BIOGRAPHY
Marcela Vaca has been the General Director of GeoPark Colombia since 2012. She holds a degree in law and a master’s degree in commercial law from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá and an LLM from Georgetown University. She served in the legal department of a number of companies in the mining and energy sector in Colombia. In 2000, she joined GHK Company Colombia leading the legal, social, and environmental strategy of the company. Prior to joining GeoPark in 2012, she was General Manager of the Hupecol Group for nine years.

To what do you attribute the remarkable success of 2019?
The increase in our revenue and production, and the rise of the company to become one of the largest operators in Colombia can be attributed to several factors. First, the increase in oil prices benefited all the actors in the industry. Second, our exploratory success has contributed to an important increase in our production; we made two discoveries in 2017 and two additional ones in 2018, in addition to the continued extension of the Tigana-Jacana play concept in Llanos 34. Our success can also be attributed to our ability to reduce operational costs, successfully test our new discoveries, and manage our surface risks providing special attention to our engagement with stakeholders.

How has GeoPark's commitment to responsible extraction and taking care of the environment evolved?
Our integrated system of values is called SPEED, which stands for safety, people, environment, employees, and development. Based on this, we have a commitment to nature, and our operations are structured around this promise. In Colombia, we have also been certified with ISO 14000. Moreover, we are engaging in environmental investments and trainings as well as participating in studies with local or regional NGOs. We constantly strive to become better and to create programs to achieve and increasingly sustainable operation. For example, we are working on a solar alternative energy project, with the pilot project providing solar energy for one of our fields in 2019. On a larger scale, we are also transitioning from diesel to natural gas, not only for cost reduction but because we are also committed to emissions reduction. In fact, we expect to be certified very soon in product carbon footprint. Other than that, we are reutilizing our water and have so far reduced our water consumption by 40% through reverse osmosis.