GeoPark helps its neighbors in Casanare during the Covid-19 emergency

Casanare, Colombia – April 6, 2020

GeoPark is working with mayors’ offices and communities in the municipalities of Tauramena and Villanueva in Colombia’s Casanare province to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Since the start of the emergency, GeoPark has coordinated efforts with the authorities of both municipalities to provide essential medical equipment to stop Covid-19 spreading in the area.

Aware that the crisis is limiting access to goods and services, GeoPark has identified the most vulnerable families in the Llanos 34 block and is providing food supplies to them. These households include those with mothers as heads of household with children under 18 years old, households with elderly people over 70 years old, and households that include handicapped family members.

GeoPark is furthermore working with companies in the Colombian Petroleum Association to provide protective equipment to medical personnel across the region. In a statement, Governor Salomón Sanabria of Casanare highlighted the importance of the oil industry working together with the regional government to protect the province’s population.

“In keeping with our mission to be good neighbors, throughout this emergency we have made preparations and acted decisively and in solidarity with Casanare,” GeoPark Social & Environment Director Norma Sanchez said. “We support the province and will continue to do so to ensure the well-being of our neighbors.”

Internally, GeoPark has implemented safety, health and hygiene protocols in accordance with the World Health Organization, the Colombian government and municipal health authorities to minimize the possibility of contagion. These measures include:

  • Reducing personnel to the minimum required for operations. All immunocompromised or at-risk personnel have been instructed to stay at home since March 15.
  • Extending work shifts during the period of quarantine implemented by the Colombian government, to minimize staff rotation.
  • Systematic measurement of workers’ temperatures using infra-red thermometers to avoid physical contact.
  • Implementing self-evaluation of all staff.
  • Establishing social distancing between workers, who must stand at least 2 meters apart.
  • Instructing all service staff to wear N-95 masks, special clothing and gloves as needed.
  • Disinfecting frequently and meticulously all communal areas in operations, such as dining areas, sleeping quarters, vehicles, tanker trucks and others.
  • Implementing a closed-loop transport system which limits tanker trucks to within the borders of the Llanos 34 block. Furthermore, drivers have been instructed not to leave their vehicles at any time throughout their journey and will eat and sleep only within the field.

GeoPark is in constant contact with neighbors and authorities, informing them of the measures it is taking to guarantee safe operations and of its willingness to take further steps to face this emergency. In doing so, GeoPark has demonstrated its commitment to the protection and integrity of neighbors and workers alike.

Find here and here some of our protocols to prevent workers and communities’ exposure to Covid-19.