The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice: President Correa & Chevron in the Amazon
Tribunal Finds Ecuador in Breach of Legal Obligations in Chevron Amazon Dispute
Dow Jones Newswires
Chevron Corp. (CVX) said an international arbitration tribunal has found that Ecuador violated the body’s prior rulings by not preventing the attempted enforcement of a $19 billion judgment against Chevron tied to an environmental trial against the company in Lago Agrio, Ecuador.
In its prior awards–which are authorized under international law and a treaty between the U.S. and Ecuador–the Tribunal had put Ecuador on notice that if Chevron’s arbitration ultimately prevails the country could be responsible to Chevron under international law for any losses arising from the judgment’s enforcement.
The claim relates to an ongoing environmental lawsuit against the company in Ecuador. On its website, Chevron said the suit alleges it is responsible for alleged environmental and social harms in the Amazon region of Ecuador. The oil company has called the allegations false, saying it “has never conducted oil production operations in Ecuador, and its subsidiary Texaco Petroleum Co. fully remediated its share of environmental impacts arising from oil production operations prior to 1992.”
The Tribunal–which convenes under the authority of the U.S.-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty and is administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague–found Ecuador in breach of the Tribunal’s prior rulings and ordered the nation to explain why it shouldn’t be ordered to compensate Chevron for all harm resulting from the plaintiffs’ attempts to enforce the judgment.
“The Tribunal’s decision confirms that the enforcement actions being pursued against Chevron in Argentina, Brazil, and Canada fly in the face of international law,” said Hewitt Pate, Chevron vice president and general counsel. “It is not too late for the Republic to reverse course, declare the Lago Agrio judgment illegitimate, and address the real challenges facing its citizens.”
Chevron said that, despite the Tribunal’s Awards, Ecuador has facilitated the plaintiffs’ pursuit of enforcement in Argentina, Brazil, and Canada.
Chevron said the trial “has been marred by fraud.” The company also alleged that the government of Ecuador has failed to uphold prior settlement and release agreements that the government of Ecuador entered into with Texaco Petroleum Co.–now a Chevron unit–when the consortium between Texaco Petroleum and Ecuador’s state-owned oil company, Petroecuador, was terminated.
In August 2011, a different international arbitration tribunal awarded Chevron and Texaco Petroleum $96 million, plus interest, in a claim against Ecuador related to past oil operations. Chevron said a court in the Netherlands has upheld the award and Ecuador has filed a second appeal.
Shares of Chevron–the second-largest U.S. oil company by market value after Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)–rose 12 cents to $115.14 in recent premarket trading. The stock has risen 7.7% in the past 12 months.
Source: Fox Business
Chevron Loses in Ecuador Amazon Case
BUENOS AIRES — An Argentine appeals court has upheld a move by Buenos Aires to freeze $19 billion in Chevron (IW 1000/7) assets at the request of Ecuador, which blames the oil giant for environmental damage in the Amazon.
Court documents showed that the ruling issued on Tuesday rejected Chevron’s position that Argentina lacked jurisdiction to take a side in the matter. The appeals court petition was filed by two Chevron subsidiaries operating in Argentina.
An Argentine court in November froze Chevron Corporation’s assets at the request of Quito, where Chevron was ordered to pay $19 billion for environmental damage, a lawyer in the case said.
The $19 billion judgment is equivalent to the value of Chevron’s entire holdings in Argentina, and a company official said here recently that an adverse ruling could cause it to shut down its entire operation here.
“If the freeze is upheld… it would affect all of Chevron’s activity in Argentina,” said Ricardo Aguirre, the manager for planning and commercial operations at Chevron in Argentina.
“There will be no future for this company in this country, that is clear,” Aguirre said.
The U.S. Supreme Court in October declined a request from Chevron to intervene in the case and refused to block the massive fine sought by Ecuador.
The Ecuadoran complaint stemmed from years of unchecked pollution in the Amazon attributed to Texaco Petroleum, which Chevron acquired in 2001.
Texaco polluted large areas of Ecuador’s Amazon jungle when it operated in the region from 1964 to 1990, a decade before being acquired by Chevron, according to indigenous groups and local farmers.
After years of litigation, an Ecuadoran court in February 2011 ordered Chevron to pay the massive fine.
Chevron has accused the Ecuadoran judge who ruled on the case of fraud and breach of trust.
Source: Inductry Week
Editorial: SELVA-Vida Sin Fronteras
Gustavo López Ospina
Pieter Jan Brouwer
Assistant: Emilia Romero
The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice is associated with the International Environmental Mission, a grass roots citizens movement created by Chilean Senator Juan Pablo Letelier.
SELVA Vida Sin Fronteras acknowledges Kevin Schafer’s important contribution towards protecting the highly endangered Amazon pink fresh water dolphin. Title photographs of our “The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice” were taken by Mr. Schafer.