Chevron pollution in Ecuador: The International Arbitration Tribunal at The Hague found Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) not liable for collective damages caused by pollution at Ecuador’s Lago Agrio oil field. The ruling, however, left the door open to claims damages incurred by individuals. The charges against the company have been several and range from discharging produced water to regional waterways and soil contamination, including deforestation and cultural destruction, to health deterioration.
Reports have so far confirmed that Texaco dumped to open pits 18.5 million gallons of toxic sludge and wastewater between 1964 and 1992. The legal rumble concerning damages and remediation started back in 1993, and Chevron’s management was full aware of the current lawsuits against Texaco when merging in 2001.
The first litigation was dismissed in 2002 due to improper venue, but a new claim has been filed in 2003, while other claims have been attached to it. In its defense, Chevron continues to argue that remediation efforts executed by Texaco in 1995 have been effective and sufficient. Experts have, however, demonstrated that those efforts have been merely cosmetic, making the case for the legal rumble to continue. And, President Rafael Correa has taken the issue as a personal battle giving the case much needed exposure. Legal turnouts, so far, have not accompanied.
On another note, the Niger Delta continues to make the news. This time, Chevron has announced it will be receiving bids from prospective buyers for its three oil blocs. The asking combined price for the facilities is estimated to range between $500-600 million, and the firm expects to find a single buyer. The reserves held by the blocs are estimated to be around 134 BOE, and 5 trillion cubic feet of gas.
At last, YPF SA (ADR) (NYSE:YPF) continues to add investing partners to its Vaca Muerta formation at the Patagonia region. In addition to Chevron, The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) and Wintershall, a sister company of BASF SE (ADR) (OTCMKTS:BASFY), have reached an agreement with YPF. Between the two partners an estra $270 million will be invested at the site and the agreement with the German oil and gas producer could be extended to $3.35 billion. Check back here for more updates on the Chevron pollution case in Ecuador.
Disclosure: Jodor Jalit holds no position in any of the mentioned stocks.