“Oil runs, as the waters run in Azua”.

Juan Osiris Arias, 86 years old, a native of Azua province, calls on the President of the Republic, Luis Abinader, to pay special attention to the oil potential that exists in this community.

“When I heard you authorize an oil drilling company, I was moved, because I have more than 65 years saying the theft, the crime that has been committed by stealing the oil,” said Arias.

He assures that he has seen oil in the sector of El Higüerito, in Azua “since he can remember”, that the recognized black liquid “runs, like water runs”, he says that the inhabitants of his community use it in different household chores.

Juan Arias visited the editorial office of Hoy newspaper to make this call to the president in view of the fact that on several occasions, he claims to have visited the Minister of the Environment, Orlando Jorge Mera, and he has not received him.

He said that it is sensible to think that there are interests at stake that are preventing this zone and the country from developing.

“There is a natural gas well in Azua, in the Guanabana area, I detected that there is a natural gas well and Osiris De León knows that, but he has never told the country”.

Outraged by how the oil issue has been handled in Azua, Arias said that he is resigning from the Partido Revolucionario Moderno (PRM), after having been a member of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD) for more than 60 years, and later joining the PRM.

“I know that my resignation is not going to have much resonance, because I have no money, I am resigning from that party”, announced Arias.

THE TIRELESS SEARCH

In 1872, geologist William Gabb reported the existence of oil in Azua. Fourteen years later, José Ramón Abad reported that in Azua there were “abundant oil transudations”.

In 1905, the Lancaster & Kreider Company drilled six wells in Azua. The first, Higüerito I, found oil at a depth of 900 feet.

Between 1920 and 1922, the Santo Domingo Investment Company drilled three wells next to Higüerito I. It found small quantities of crude oil, while in 1927 the Antillana Company drilled a well in Higüerito.

In 1939, the Compañía Petrolera Dominicana drilled the Maleno I well in Azua, where it found oil. Between 1943 and 1946, the company drilled, unsuccessfully, eight other wells in the area.

In 1944, the Dominican Seabord Oil Company drilled the Comendador I well, in Elías Piña, and in 1946 the Mella I well, in Neiba. No hydrocarbons were found.

At the end of the 1940s, Trujillo opened a well in Maleno. Between 1957 and 1958, the Azuana Oil Company drilled six wells in Higüerito and Maleno. Oil and gas were found in two of them.

In 1958, the Villa Isabel well in Monte Cristi and the Licey and Sorpresa wells in Santiago were drilled with poor results.

Between 1958 and 1959, the Compañía Petrolera Dominicana opened eleven new wells in Maleno. It found oil and natural gas in two of them. It drilled, unsuccessfully, the Mella II, Palo Alto I and Cabritos I wells in the Enriquillo Lake basin.

Between 1969 and 1970, the companies Dyna-Ray Recursos Internacionales-Gas and Petróleo Dominicana drilled seven wells in Higüerito and Maleno. Gas and oil were found in five of them.

From 1978 to 1982, Canadian Superior Oil Co, Cariboil and Petrolera Las Mercedes drilled three wells between Boca-Chica-San Pedro de Macoris, one in Charco Largo and another in Comendador, without satisfactory results.

At the end of the 80’s, Mobil Exploration Dominicana, Petrolera Once-Once and Maleno Oil Company presented intentions of oil exploration in the country.

On August 20, 1991, the Senate approved the contract for oil exploration signed between the State and Mobil Exploration Dominicana, while on August 27 of the same year the Senate ratified a similar agreement with Once-Once. The latter began drilling in 1995 in Güiza, Colón and Pimentel, in the Eastern Cibao. Only natural gas has been found.

The exploration concession for Punta Salinas, Baní, was granted to Mobil Exploration in 1990, which in turn contracted Murfin Drilling. Exploration began in January 1996. They were unfortunate.

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