All you Shalers remember this because the same activity that polluted Ecuadorian water happens here.
An E&E Publishing Service
OIL AND GAS: Chevron maneuvering to fight Ecuador suit in U.S (Monday, July 20, 2009)
Chevron Corp. intends to return to U.S. court to fight a multibillion-dollar dispute with residents of Ecuador’s oil-producing Amazonian rainforest.
The lawsuit against Texaco began in New York in 1993, but final arguments are wrapping up now in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, against Chevron, which bought Texaco in 2001.
If the judge rules against the company, Chevron could be on the line for roughly $27 billion in damages.
Locals accuse Chevron’s Texaco unit of dumping drilling mud and wastewater into hundreds of unlined pits or directly into waterways before turning operations over to state-run Petroecuador. Chevron argues that Texaco complied with Ecuadorian law and notes that Ecuador’s government relieved the company of responsibility after a three-year, $40 million cleanup that ended in 1998. Texaco’s successor and former partner, Petroecuador, is responsible for hundreds of oil spills since it took over operations, according to Chevron.
Last December, the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals denied Chevron’s petition for a rehearing of a unanimous decision by a three-judge panel on the court that found the oil company’s claim over the contamination was “without merit.”
While saying it expects to appeal a negative ruling in Ecuador, the company has also announced plans to try to get the case back in U.S. courts.
Chevron officials, meanwhile, have told shareholders that the company doesn’t believe it will be forced to pay a judgment imposed by the Ecuadorian court.
“We’re not paying and we’re going to fight this for years if not decades into the future,” Chevron spokesman Don Campbell said (Ben Casselman, Wall Street Journal [subscription required], July 20). — JK