Colegio de Abogados

Colegio de Abogados

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Nuevos Decretos Reglamentarios de la Ley 685 de 2001 

 

Con el fin de dar efectos al fallo de la  Corte Constitucional en su Sentencia C-366/1, el Gobierno Nacional expidió los Decretos 933, 934 y 935 del Nueve (9) de Mayo 2013, que permitirán que la actividad minera en el país avance.

Estos Decretos regulan temas en formalización minera, condiciones técnicas mínimas para solicitar títulos mineros y calidad en las propuestas para el desarrollo de proyectos.

Indicó el Ministro de Minas y Energía,  Federico Rengifo, que el sector minero tradicional no quedará desamparado, pues se dará continuidad a los procesos de formalización de los mineros que habían solicitado sus títulos, así mismo se continuará con la cero tolerancia a la irresponsabilidad minera

Finalmente señaló el titular de la cartera de Minas que “los páramos, humedales Ramsar y reservas forestales protectoras en Colombia no pierden vigencia como zonas excluidas de la minería ya que su prohibición quedó establecida en la Ley 1450 de 2010 del Plan Nacional de Desarrollo”

Decreto 933 de 2013 http://www.minminas.gov.co/mme/documents/10157/16946/DECRETO+933+DEL+9+DE+MAYO+DE+2013.pdf

Decreto 934 de 2013 http://www.minminas.gov.co/mme/documents/10157/16946/DECRETO+934+DEL+9+DE+MAYO+DE+2013.pdf

Decreto 935 de 2013 http://www.minminas.gov.co/mme/documents/10157/16946/DECRETO+935+DEL+9+DE+MAYO+DE+2013.pdf

 

Viernes, 10 Mayo 2013 22:44

Sentencia C-247 de 24 de Abril de 2013

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Sentencia C-247 de 24 de Abril de 2013

Participación de los congresistas en la Comisión Rectora del Sistema General de Regalías y en los Órganos Colegiados de Administración y Decisión Regionales.

 

La Corte determino que la participación de congresistas en la Comisión Rectora del Sistema Nacional de Regalías y en los órganos Colegiados de Administración y Decisión es compatible con los Artículos 113 y 114 de la Constitución. Señalo que esta disposición es un desarrollo de la potestad del Congreso para establecer la estructura de la administración (Articulo 150.7 C.P) y del Acto Legislativo 5 de 2011 que dejo a la Ley la regulación de los órganos colegiados  de administración y decisión, a los cuales compete la definición de los proyectos que se financiaran con los recursos del Sistema General de Regalías.

Observó que dicha participación no supone la intervención de los parlamentarios a título personal, sino que es una forma de concurrencia del Congreso en instancias políticas y técnicas previstas para la fijación de los lineamientos del Sistema General de Regalías, la evaluación de la ejecución general  de la política general del sistema y la adopción de regulaciones de carácter administrativo a fin de asegurar el adecuado funcionamiento del mismo.

Por lo esgrimido en los parágrafos anteriores la Corte decidió declarar Exequible el numeral 6 del Artículo 4 de la Ley 1530 de 2012 así como  la expresión “Asistirán a los Órganos Colegiados de Administración y Decisión regionales en la calidad de invitados permanentes dos Senadores que hayan obtenido más del 40% de su votación en el respectivo departamento y dos Representantes a la Cámara. Esta representación se rotara cada año” del Artículo 6 de la Ley 1530 de 2012.

 

Ver análisis de la norma demanda Ley 1530 de 2012 en el Boletín 11 Tomo XLVII del Colegio de Abogados de Minas y Petróleos.

 

Viernes, 10 Mayo 2013 21:17

Resolución Número 9 0271 de 2013

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Resolución Número 9 0271 de 2013

Por la cual se asignan recursos del Fondo Especial Cuota de Fomento de Gas Natural.

 

Esta asignación de recursos se aprobará teniendo en cuenta la disponibilidad de recursos en la fecha de aprobación y se asignarán los recursos disponibles con base en el orden de priorización, a un  proyecto  la vez por cada departamento de la división política del país, ello sin considerar el monto solicitado y siguiendo el orden de prioridad de los proyectos hasta agotar la disponibilidad presupuestal.

Es preciso señalar que la Resolución indica que todos aquellos proyectos a los que no se les apruebe la cofinanciación por falta de disponibilidad de recursos serán tenidos en cuenta por la unidad DE Planeación Minero – energética UPME, para los siguientes procesos de priorización.

 

 

 

 

Viernes, 10 Mayo 2013 16:39

Resolución Número 0304 de 2013

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Resolución Número 0304 de 2013

Por la cual se sustrae temporalmente un área en la Zona de Reserva Forestal de la Amazonia, establecida en la Ley 2 de 1959 y se toman otras determinaciones.

Surtidos los estudios técnico respectivos se resolvió efectuar la sustracción temporal de un área de 45,6 ha de la Reserva Forestal de la Amazonia de la Ley 2 de 1959, para la ubicación de 42 puntos de perforación de 6m2 cada uno, con un buffer de 50 m alrededor de cada uno de los mismos y efectuar la sustracción temporal del corredor que se encuentra sobre el Cerro Machado, ello por un término de tres meses para la actividades de exploración de subsuelo y las actividades conexas a esta, contados a partir de la ejecutoria del acto administrativo comunicado.

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New Draft Bill to Impose Industry and Commerce Tax on Oil and Gas Activities
 

By Gabriela Mancero Bucheli


A draft bill was presented to Congress on July 20 2012. It aims to introduce a new tax in
the oil and gas industry. Traditionally, the industry was exempt from tax as such
activities were not included in the list of activities to which the industry and commerce
tax applies. Article 1 of the draft bill, includes not only the activity as taxable within the list
but also proposes an Industry and Commerce Tax rate ranging from Ps6 to Ps20 for
each Ps1,000 of income applicable on a monthly basis.


Activities deemed to fall within the oil and gas sector for taxation purposes are "those
related to the petroleum industry in the areas of petroleum exploration, production,
mixture, refining and all ancillary and supplementary activities".


The taxable basis for calculating industry and commerce tax will correspond to the
petroleum production or extraction value at the well head, measured on a per-barrel
basis. The applicable rate in each particular case shall be determined by the municipal
council at the place where the oil and gas company's production facilities or production
fields are located. Each council will determine industry and commerce tax rates and the
corresponding regulation through accords.


The draft bill indicates that the prices for liquidation of the industry and commerce tax
shall be the same as those used for royalty liquidation.

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Coal Producer Receives Ps60 Billion Pay-Out from Government


By Gabriela Mancero Bucheli



In December 2012 the Ministry of Transport paid Drummond – a multinational company
exploiting coal on the north coast – nearly Ps60 billion (more than $30 million) for
breach of contract, in compliance with a decision of the Court of Arbitration of the Paris
Chamber of Commerce.


The contract for the transportation of coal from the Guajira and Cesar provinces to the
Santa Marta municipality seaport was signed in 1999. Drummond argued that as a
consequence of the contracting party's non-compliance with its contractual obligations,
it had allegedly faced delays and experienced huge financial losses. Drummond
named both state-owned company Ferrocarriles de Colombia (Fenoco) and Ferrovias
Railways as respondents to the complaint, as both companies were responsible for
transporting the coal.


It subsequently transpired that Fenoco's main shareholder was Drummond, which held
more than 40% of the company's shares. Therefore, it could be said that the
government paid Drummond for its own failures. However, according to the Ministry of
Transport and the National Infrastructure Agency, Drummond had not yet acquired
Fenoco when the company was sued.


The award was issued in Paris in 2006 – the same year in which the ministry opened a
tender to sell Fenoco and permitted Drummond to enter the process. Drummond
bought the highest percentage share of the company. Fenoco was jointly sentenced in
the award, since it was in liquidation and it had been established with the specific
purpose of replacing the previous state-owned company.


According to the Civil Cassation Chamber of the Supreme Court,(1) the Paris tribunal
had issued the enforcement order after ruling that none of the provisions of the contract
were contrary to law or public policy. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' request, in April
2008 Civil Judge 34 of the Bogota Circuit notified the National Institute of Concessions,
the Ministry of Transport, Ferrovias Railways and Fenoco. The interested parties failed
to initiate an annulment action against the ruling in France.


On receipt of the request for an exequatur for the enforcement of the foreign decision,
the civil prosecutor was informed and the National Concessions Institute opposed
Drummond's claims, arguing that they failed to satisfy the requirements of Article 693 of
the Colombian Civil Procedure Code, and thus the award was not enforceable.


The Ministry of Transport stated that it opposed the granting of approval for execution of
the award since:

 

  • the general and special conditions defined in national law and applicable treaties on the subject had not been taken into account;
  •  the controversy related to property rights on constituted public goods situated in Colombian territory at the time that the process had commenced;
  •  the award was contrary to Colombian laws and provisions dealing with matters within the exclusive competence of local judges;
  •  the judgment related to matters for which an arbitration decision had already been handed down; and
  •  the award did not comply with proper defendant summoning.


The Civil Cassation Chamber of the Supreme Court studied the award and in
December 2011 stated that the ruling was in line with Colombian domestic law. The
government was subsequently ordered to pay Ps38 billion ($21 million) to Drummond
for coal transportation costs and Ps13 billion ($7.2 million) as a penalty for breach of its
supervision and control duties.

The judgment was accepted in Colombia in December 2011; however, since the 2012
budget had already been approved, the payment could not be made in that year. Only in
December 2012 was the Ministry of Transport forced to pay the entire amount to
Drummond, in order to prevent the debt from escalating due to interest. The award was
fulfilled in secrecy, but was leaked in the media in early 2013.

Endnotes


(1) Supreme Court of Justice, Civil Cassation Chamber, FGG Exp 1100102030002008-
01760-00 4.

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Awarding Areas Under New Accord on Oil and Gas Contracts


By Gabriela Mancero Bucheli


Accord 4 of May 4 2012, issued by the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH), amended
the award of contracts for oil and gas areas in Colombia (for further details please see
"ANH issues new regulation for contracting of oil and gas blocks").


Chapter 3 of the accord deals with the award of areas. In addition to the existing
exploration and production and technical evaluation agreement contracts, the accord
introduces a new type of contract, known as a special contract. The contract minutes
are proposed by the president of the ANH and adopted by its board.


When awarding areas, the general rule is to solicit open or closed competitive bids.
However, in certain circumstances it is also possible to award areas directly.


An open competitive bid is a public procedure available to any party wishing to
participate according to the principles of equality and objectivity. Such procedure is
based on the terms of reference, which provide the capacity requirements. The ANH
chooses the most favourable proposal.


A closed competitive bid is carried out by invitation only. It is also structured according to
the terms of reference, which set out the capacity requirements to be met by the invited
participants, The ANH then chooses the most favourable offer.


Through the direct award procedure, the ANH assigns the selected area directly. This
procedure is exceptional and must be authorised by the board of the ANH. The criteria
for using this method are related to aspects of the areas to be awarded, namely:

 

  •  the area's particular nature and geographical location;
  •  particular geological characteristics, according to technical studies;
  •  social and environmental constraints;
  •  technical information available about the sub-soil and the required exploratory   coverage;
  •  grounds of public interest, national security or public order; and
  •  special considerations of economic or energy policy.
     

The procedure is based on the rules regarding fulfilment of the capacity requirements,
terms and conditions by the bidder and contractor on the one hand, and negotiable
issues on the other. The issues under negotiation should be more favourable than
those obtained in competitive selection processes concluded in the previous two years,
according to the characteristics of the area.


The bidder that fulfils the capacity requirements, negotiates exploratory programmes
and economic investments and abides by the legal requirements and model contracts
will be awarded the area.


Individual bidders or members of joint bidders cannot submit more than one proposal
for the same area, either individually or jointly. However, they can seek to be awarded
numerous contracts if they can satisfy the requirements established in the law, the
accord and the terms of reference.

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Alarm bells ring over downturn in mining and oil production
 

By Gabriela Mancero Bucheli

March 25 2013

Mining has become a major source of growth for Colombia's economy during the last
decade, and was recently designated as an engine for economic development by the
government. In 2012 mining accounted for more than 23% of the country's total exports.


However, many fear that 2012 marked a turning point in the mining sector's upward
dynamic. Between January and November 2012 mining exports amounted to $12.8
million and represented 23.4% of the country's exports; however, in the same period in
2011 this percentage was approximately 25%. While gold exports increased by 26%,
thanks to increased production and a rise in the international price of gold, coal exports
decreased by 5.2%, from $7.6 million for the period between January and November
2011 to $7.2 million for the same period in 2012. In total, mining exports accounted for
just 2.5% of a total exports' growth of 6.9%.


Colombia made a great effort to create a new institutional framework for the electricity
sector in the 1990s and for the oil sector at the turn of the century; now, the country
seems in a hurry to organise the institutional regime for the mining sector. Colombia
has tremendous potential in this area, but the institutional challenge that this activity
presents is significant and does not depend solely on the Ministry of Mining and
Energy's management. Issues such as insufficient geological information, scarce
human capital and ongoing environmental conflict mean that Colombian mining
urgently requires due attention.


Colombia is currently the 10th largest coal producer and the sixth largest coal exporter
in the world. However, in the last 20 years, no significant new projects have been
initiated; conversely, it is estimated that there are over 2,000 illegal mining excavators in
operation. In Choco – Colombia's number one gold-producing region, according to the
Colombian Mines Chamber – only one environmental licence has been granted.
Less than 15% of the country has been considered for mining. The National Mining
Development Plan for 2014, prepared by the Planning Unit of Mining and Energy, states
that the country is young in terms of exploration. Several mining applications have been
rejected. Communities, non-governmental organisations and even environmental
authorities' actions have prevented exploration in promising regions.


Demand for coal has decreased due to the United States' replacement of imported
thermal coal gas with domestic shale gas. The Cerrejon strike(1) reduced production,
slowed down growth and decreased mining royalties. In addition, the National Mining
Agency has not yet been established and no bids have been placed.


However, there is some positive news. There is progress in expanding production for
Cerrejon from 32 million to 40 million tons a year, with investments of up to $1.3 million.


Multinational Codelco announced its intention to look for copper in Colombia, as the
price of copper has improved due to the burgeoning construction sector in China.
Companies such as Goldman Sachs and Prodeco announced plans to invest
approximately $41.5 million in the sector. A large delegation from Australia is interested
in the Colombian market for mining services. Coal producer CCX denied that it is
considering withdrawing from the country. Contracts were renewed for the Cerro
Matoso and Paz del Rio mines.


In addition, the 2013 round for minerals in strategic areas will be tendered in the
second half of the year, once the mining cadastre has been divulged and potential is
known. Coal is being exported to Europe, and opportunities for the Asian market are
being explored.


Figures show a steady growth for hydrocarbons and other mineral production, despite
price fluctuations and other deterrents. Consequently, the revaluation of the Colombian
peso – a result of this process – should be viewed as both an opportunity and a
challenge: an opportunity to invest in capital and innovation, and a challenge to
Energy & Natural Resources - Colombia

Endnotes


(1) After 25 days of strike action, the union and the company reached their first
agreement on March 6 2012. Losses due to the strike have been estimated at
approximately $73 million.

Miércoles, 08 Mayo 2013 17:33

Resolución Número 0202 de 2013

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Resolución Número 0202 de 2013

Por la cual se niega la Sustracción definitiva de un  Área en la Zona de Reserva Forestal del Pacifico, establecida en la Ley 2 de 1959 y se toman otras determinaciones.

 

En relación a la extracción solicitada por la Sociedad Los Peregrinos S.A.S., la Dirección de Bosques, Biodiversidad y Servicios Eco sistémicos del Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible, en ejercicio de la función establecida en el numeral 3 del Artículo 16 del Decreto-Ley 3570 de 2011, emitió concepto técnico número4120-E1-3704 del 25 de Enero de 2013, en el cual se establece la no viabilidad, respecto a la solicitud de la Sustracción Definitiva de un Área de la Zona de Reserva Forestal del Pacifico.

Se indica que no se considera viable adelantar la sustracción definitiva de la Reserva Forestal del Pacifico de un área para adelantar una explotación anticipada y exploración avanzada de minerales, ello toda vez que eta zona se ubica en el enclave  seco interandino del Rio Dagua, el cual es uno de los ecosistemas más amenazados a nivel mundial, el cual se considera con un alto valor de irremplazabililidad eco sistémica.

 

 

Martes, 07 Mayo 2013 22:17

Resolución Número 023 de 2013

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 Resolución Número 023 de 2013

Por la cual se asignan recursos del Fondo Especial Cuota de Fomento de Gas Natural.

Mediante el cual se resolvió la asignación de recursos del Fondo Especial Cuota de Fomento de Gas Natural, conforme a lo establecido en el Artículo 7 del Decreto número 1718 de 2008, a los proyectos indicados en el anexo primero de la Resolución Número 9 0271 de 2013; así mismo se indicó que dichos proyectos serán cofinanciados de acuerdo al anexo segundo de la Resolución antes indicada.

Se excluyó de la asignación de recursos al proyecto presentado por OP&S Construcciones Ltda, denominado “construcción de redes de gas natural comprimido para conexiones de usuarios de menores ingresos en el municipio de San Antonio, departamento de Tolima.

Finalmente se indicó que previo cumplimiento de los requisitos establecidos en la Resolución número  18-2032 de 2010 o aquella que la modifique, adicione o sustituya, se suscribirán los convenios de cofinanciación por cada proyecto entre el administrador del Fondo y el solicitante.