Job Creation and Workforce Development

After acquiring and integrating three Colombian oil companies, Gran Tierra has focused on building “one team” committed to fostering cohesion across all of the company’s operations with the goal of maximizing efficiency and prioritizing safety practices.

In 2020, GTE continued to make progress in achieving its local hiring goals, increasing the percentage of skilled employees from nearby areas. In addition, the company was focused on preparing promising employees to take on greater responsibility through development programs that open pathways for them to progress within the company. As part of its effort to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals, GTE continues to train women both inside and outside the company.

GTE continues to create numerous economic development opportunities leading to life-improving changes for communities in Colombia’s Middle Magdalena Valley and Putumayo regions. GTE brings its values to all of its activities and operations. These include going Beyond Compliance in respecting human rights, maintaining operational integrity, establishing a culture of safety, efficiency, stewardship of the environment and collaboration with the Colombian government.





Encouraging and Enabling Local Suppliers: A Fair Bidding Process

As Gran Tierra increases its field operations, economic benefits flowing to local businesses and communities are also growing. One reason is that GTE’s Fair Bidding Process and other procurement procedures are designed to maximize opportunities for local and regional communities to capture some of these benefits associated with the company’s activities.

Driving Gran Tierra’s competitive and transparent Fair Bidding Process for goods and services are the company’s commitments to:

  • Comply with all national laws and nine relevant corporate policies.
  • Share the same information with all potential bidders, including strong tender documents  and clear and fair rules about the proposal process.

The contracting process is subject to regular internal and external audits in order to verify that the supply chain procedure and company policies are being followed.

GTE informs each vendor about the results of the bidding process, and bidders can request additional information to help them understand what they need to do to improve their chances in the future.

Gran Tierra Energy awarded over USD$39 million in contracts to local companies for goods and services in 2020:

Cauca 17 9 2 2 $150,514
Putumayo 526 272 68 84 $14,465,488
Valle Medio del Magdalena 140 99 29 32 $25,165,889
Yopal 1 1 1 1 $79,071
Total 684 381 100 119 $39,860,962

Key Partners – Developing and Supporting Local Vendors

GTE’s successful Key Partners program has evolved from a simple award given to the best performing vendors into an integrated, multi-stage program with five components. This program has led to tremendous growth in the capabilities, capacity and competitiveness of vendors in the areas where the company operates.

Components of Key Partners:

  1. Developing close, beneficial relationships with existing and potential vendors through continuous contact with dedicated company staff. This ensures ongoing dialogue and alignment between vendor and company.
  2. Dedicated high-value training offered to managers and owners of vendor companies delivered in partnership with regional Chambers of Commerce.
  3. Supply Chain standards that ensure GTE’s contractors are also sourcing from local suppliers.
  4. Performance evaluations that measure, recognize and reward 4 outstanding vendors. Facilitating relationships between contractors and local suppliers to foster a growing ecosystem of opportunities for area businesses.

Members of the Key Partners program are expected to:

  • Offer high quality goods and services
  • Submit competitive proposals, both in price and quality, when invited to bid
  • Be a collaborative partner with the goal of ensuring that GTE operations are carried out safely and accurately
  • Respect corporate decisions made by GTE or its contractors
  • Understand and apply GTE’s human rights and anti-corruption policies in their business practices
  • Participate in activities developed by GTE aimed at strengthening business skills

Meet several of GTE's Key Partners:


We were a really small company when I came aboard to manage it eleven years ago. Working in the hydrocarbon industry has helped us grow and learn, and GTE’s Key Partners program is excellent in this regard. We’ve had to work hard to meet GTE’s high standards for safety and integrity.

ELSA COLMENARES RUEDA, General Manager, Contrasanal, a cooperative that provides ground transportation services to GTE’s Middle Magdalena Valley operations


As a client, GTE has been a key partner of mine. They helped us in developing new skills, provided training to our employees and connected us with new clients. The diploma courses have been an in-depth source of knowledge on a number of topics that have helped my business. Thanks to the training that Key Partners has provided us, we have grown personally, offered better services and qualified for new projects.

SONIA CAICEDO, General Manager, SAPS, a waste management services company in San Martín


GTE is the only company I have worked with that offers contractor development programs like Key Partners. The diploma courses and referral database have increased my capacity as a leader and the company’s potential. They are as important to our development as the value of the contracts that we’ve been awarded.

FREYDER JHONATAN AGUILAR, Legal Representative, ARCOING S.A.S , a Puerto Asís-based subcontractor that provides specialized welding, mechanical, civil and electrical works

Jarma Ingenia, SAS

This community was hard hit by the violence plaguing the country for a long time, but people now realize that this mindset needs to change. The oil sector has offered us many opportunities and combined with the distribution of oil royalties from the government we’ve had a lot of infrastructure improvements. People are not only thinking about getting jobs but also starting their own businesses here.

31 LOCAL COMPANIES founded in Puerto Limón since GTE’s presence
USD$1,794,982 worth of contracts to companies based in Puerto Limón

If you are interested in becoming a Key Partner please click here for more information.

Local Suppliers Development Program Prepares Companies for Success

Communities in Putumayo have faced significant security, educational and economic challenges for decades. Many of these challenges – lack of infrastructure, jobs, education and technical training – remain in a post conflict context. This has made it difficult for participants in the local workforce to acquire the technical experience that would qualify them for a number of jobs with
Gran Tierra. Since some positions are very specialized, often no one in the region has the required qualifications.

Colombian regulations stipulate that skilled positions can be filled by workers from outside the locality if there are insufficient numbers of qualified local workers. However, rather than importing people from other regions, four years ago GTE started a program to train local workers for technical jobs. The program, entitled From Challenges to Opportunities, helps people understand the skills and experience required to qualify for the jobs Gran Tierra offers and then conducts training and certification programs to help prospective employees meet the requirements. The program also helps existing employees qualify for promotions. This results in more opportunities for local communities, which can be seen in GTE’s local hiring statistics which far exceed what is required by law.

Also contributing to the increase in local economic benefits is the company’s Local Suppliers Development Program. The main objective of the program is to transfer business knowledge and skills to local entrepreneurs in GTE’s areas of operation through classes called “Diploma Courses.” Focusing on important enabling areas like business skills, e-commerce and marketing, the goal of the program, which delivers over 200 hours of classroom and online training, is to raise the participants’ commercial, legal and competitive capabilities to strengthen their businesses. The program is being conducted in the two areas in Colombia where
Gran Tierra is most active.

  • 8th year that the Local Suppliers Development Program took place in Putumayo
  • Conducted in alliance with the Bogotá CCB Chamber of Commerce
  • 40 participants representing 40 contractors participated in 2020
  • 4th year that the Local Suppliers Development Program took place in Middle Magdalena Valley
  • Conducted in alliance with the Bogotá CCB Chamber of Commerce
  • 29 participants representing 29 contractors participated in 2020

Diploma Courses Inspire Entrepreneurs

Blanco Ramirez is the principal of “Zoe Solutions SAS,” a San Martín-based company that provides civil work, landscaping, and personal protective equipment (PPE) services and supply. She took all seven diploma courses and then applied her new skills to grow the company.


GTE is very much focused on empowering us in our territory. Being an entrepreneur has changed my life – it’s hard work and a lot of responsibility. But it is empowering. As we grow our companies, we are generating opportunities and helping improve lives. GTE has been doing a very good job based on the work they have done with the community. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to strengthen ourselves that they have created.

BLANCO RAMIREZ, Principal, Zoe Solutions SAS

From Single Mother to Successful Entrepreneur

As a single mother, Aura Aideni Bastidas Guerrero started a catering business, Rivas Casa Banqueteria, that is now a supplier for Gran Tierra in Villagarzón. She and her children were victims of the political violence in the area, so she and several mothers came together to create this business to help other women displaced by the violence. She credits a one-month-long Diploma Course conducted by GTE as significantly contributing to her entrepreneurial success.

Gran Tierra has given us the opportunity to grow. They have trained us, and we have grown personally and from a business standpoint too. This is true not only for us but other small and growing companies in the area.


Support of GTE’s Operations Leads to Boost in Local Economy

By taking advantage of Gran Tierra’s economic development efforts, some local communities have experienced significant, even transformative impacts on their standards of living. One example is Puerto Limón, a town of 2,500 near the company’s Moqueta facilities. Holman Julio Mesa Quiñones, President of the Community Board (JAC Puerto Limón), describes GTE’s impacts on his community.

In Puerto Limón living conditions were very poor, but now many people can improve their homes. Before houses were made of wood; now you can find properly constructed homes with better materials as well as a primary and a secondary school. In the past we had worked with another oil company and had a poor relationship, but since we started working with GTE, it has gone all the way up. Economically speaking, our living conditions have improved, and now we have over 25 local companies that have been founded to support GTE’s operations. Puerto Limón companies are doing civil work, welding, providing goods and services, catering and social work within the community. Before, so much of the wealth generated here was going to different regions. Now that isn’t the case, thanks to GTE. The good thing is that the company is so willing to work with the community. The national government has minimum requirements for GTE in a number of areas, but sometimes the company goes beyond the minimums. From supporting our traditional festivities to incentivizing our kids’ academic performance and providing university tuition grants and school repairs, the company is very involved in supporting our community.

HOLMAN JULIO MESA QUIÑONES, President of the Community Board (JAC Puerto Limón)