. Energy News .

Panel protects Chevron in Ecuador case
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Feb 17, 2012

An arbitration panel in The Hague backed Chevron's bid for temporary protection from a $9.5 billion Ecuador court judgment against the oil giant, documents showed Friday.

The panel's order Thursday buys Chevron time to fight the judgment set against it one year ago for environmental damage in the Ecuadoran jungle allegedly caused by Texaco, which Chevron acquired in 2001.

The panel ordered the Ecuadoran government to "take all measures necessary to suspend or cause to be suspended the enforcement and recognition within and without Ecuador" of the February 14, 2011, judgment.

The decision will allow Chevron to pursue its case against the "Lago Agrio" judgment in the tribunal set up under the US-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT).

Chevron argues that Ecuador violated the treaty by taking the case to its domestic court.

"Both Chevron and the Republic of Ecuador benefit from today's award, which upholds the rule of law and prevents enforcement of the fraudulent Lago Agrio judgment," the company said in a statement.

"We will continue to seek opportunities for constructive discussion with the Republic of Ecuador to resolve this pending BIT arbitration."

Washington-based group Public Citizen, which campaigns to limit the power of corporations, said the tribunal's decision effectively "ordered the Ecuadoran government to interfere in the operations of Ecuador's independent court system on behalf of the oil giant."

After having lost the case, the group said, "Chevron turned to an ad hoc 'investor-state' tribunal of three private lawyers as the last chance to help the company avoid paying to clean up contamination in the Amazonian rainforest."

The group did not acknowledge however that Quito took part in the tribunal and had nominated one of its members.

The lawsuit on behalf of Ecuadoran Amazon communities in the Lago Agrio region dates back to the first complaint filed in New York in 1993.

It sought $27 billion for water and soil damage, as well as for illnesses suffered by local resident which they say resulted from Texaco's alleged dumping of billions of gallons of toxic waste into the Amazon between 1964 and 1990.

But the case has been tainted by claims and counterclaims of misconduct and corruption on both sides.

In 2009, Chevron posted videos online purporting to show a bribery scheme implicating the judge presiding over the lawsuit. The judge recused himself days after the videos were released.

Related Links
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

Mitsui to pay record fine for Gulf oil spill
Washington (AFP) Feb 17, 2012 - Japanese conglomerate Mitsui will pay $90 million for its role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the worst oil spill in US history, authorities said Friday.

Mitsui will pay $70 million in civil fines, the largest penalty to date under the Clean Water Act, to resolve alleged violations of the law, the Justice Department said in a statement.

It has also agreed to spend $20 million for Gulf conservation projects, including land purchases in several states on the Gulf coast.

The settlement will be paid by a subsidiary of Mitsui, MOEX Offshore, which teamed up in 2007 with British giant BP in a Gulf of Mexico exploration project that produced the massive oil spill.

MOEX had a 10 percent stake in the Macondo Well, which blew out on April 20, 2010, spewing millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf. It no longer owns any share of the lease, the statement said.

An explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed 11 workers, blackened beaches in five US states and devastated the Gulf Coast's tourism and fishing industries.

"This landmark settlement is an important step -- but only a first step -- toward achieving accountability and protecting the future of the Gulf ecosystem by funding critical habitat preservation projects," US Attorney General Eric Holder said in the statement.

The officials said the settlement did not affect the government's claims against any other defendant in the Deepwater Horizon lawsuit that was filed on December 15, 2010.

Tens of billions of dollars will be at stake in the trial of the first phase of the case, set to begin on February 27 in federal district court in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The federal judge is due to determine whether the deadly missteps constitute gross negligence, how much of the blame rests with each party and whether punitive damages should be imposed.

BP has said it is working to reach a settlement with the US government over a host of civil fines and possible criminal charges.

The British oil giant already has paid more than $6 billion to over 220,000 claimants who chose to settle with a special fund set up to provide emergency payments and a faster route to reimbursement.

The massive cleanup and containment effort has cost BP $13.6 billion.


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Surface woes blamed for fracking flaws: study
Vancouver (AFP) Feb 16, 2012
Environmental contamination from operations to remove gas from deep within the Earth, known as hydraulic fracturing, often happens close to surface and not far below, said a US study released Thursday. Spills at the drill site or problems with cement casing around upper well bores were examples of incidents that have led to shallow groundwater contamination in the United States, said the stu ... read more

Adept Technology Receives Order From International Equipment OEM

U.S. Grid Energy Storage Market is Strong and Poised for Exponential Growth

Screening Africa's renewable energies potential

Colombia energy oversupply bad for prices

South Sudan oil shutdown pushes up prices

Argentine Falklands surrender message up for auction

Study addresses safety of fracking

Gazprom: South Stream decision by November

Golden eagles found dead at wind farm

Japan firms plan wind farm near Fukushima: report

New EU wind power capacity near level

Silicon Energy's New Minnesota Solar Plant Shines

SEIA Statement on President Obama's FY2013 Budget Request

Indiana solar panel manufacturer Nusun Solar certified to UL standard

New Kit Meets MCS Solar PV Test Needs

Britain and France to sign nuclear power deal at summit

Britain and France sign nuclear power deals at summit

Australia's most populated state lifts uranium ban

Kazakhstan keen to expand civil nuke ties with India

ORNL explores proteins in Yellowstone bacteria for biofuel inspiration

Ethanol mandate not the best option

Grass to gas: UGA researchers' genome map speeds biofuel development

Study: Mandating ethanol wrong solution

China to launch spacecraft in June: report

Is Shenzhou Unsafe?

Space-tracking ship Yuanwang VI concludes trip

China's new rockets expected to debut within five years

Climate change threatens tropical birds

Extreme summer temperatures occur more frequently

Low-carbon technologies 'no quick-fix', say researchers

Time of Year Important in Projections of Climate Change Effects on Ecosystems

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement