An independent committee of experts has supported plans by the Colombian government to approve oil and gas exploration in unconventional areas.
However, certain conditions should be met to mitigate geological, seismic, environmental, economic and social risks, according to a report submitted to the government this week.
The document recommends conditions that drillers should meet during the exploration stage before progressing to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to produce hydrocarbons.
Among them is a commitment to use technology of "minimum impact" and an agreement to comply with transparency laws that facilitate public access to information. In addition it urged the government to establish clear guidelines related to citizen participation and oversight mechanisms.
The 11-member committee comprised local and international academics in the fields of geology, the environment, hydrogeology, seismology, health, ecosystems and oil policy.
Appointed by the government in November, the group delivered the report after visiting areas in northern Colombia's Magdalena Medio valley basin, where the first pilot projects have been proposed.
Colombia's fracking push forms part of the government's plans to replace shrinking oil and gas resources.
The country's current crude oil reserves stand at around 1.78Bb, enough to meet demand for the next five-and-a-half years at current production rates.
Oil and gas is Colombia's most important industry in revenue terms, accounting for 40% of the country's US$41.8bn exports last year, according to statistics agency Dane.
President Iván Duque, elected for a four-year term last June, has vowed to boost investment in oil and gas as part of his pro-market reform agenda.
State oil company Ecopetrol is spearheading fracking plans, having requested an environmental permit in October for a pilot project in the Magdalena Medio basin.
According to Ecopetrol, the basin potentially holds up to 7Bb of crude oil, more than triple Colombia's current proven reserves.
However unconventional drilling, which requires the use of water, sand and chemicals to extract hydrocarbons in tight geological formations, has encountered political and social opposition.
Anti-fracking group Alianza Colombia Libre de Fracking says the technique would pollute water sources, threatening the health of local communities and ecosystems.
A bill proposing a ban on the practice was presented to the senate in August but the debate was postponed in December pending results of the independent committee's report.