Petroecuador, Ecuador’s state-owned oil company, which has a record of environmental mismanagement, continues to drill wells and dig new waste oil pits in the concession area developed in a consortium with Texaco Petroleum.
New information reveals that Petroecuador has drilled more than 400 new wells in the concession area since it took over operations in 1990 – more wells than it drilled in the consortium with Texaco Petroleum between 1972 and 1990. Petroecuador has also dug more than 270 pits in the last 3 years alone.
While activist groups and the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the lawsuit against Chevron claim their desire is to have environmental damage in the Amazon remediated, they have failed to pursue Petroecuador for its responsibilities. They have even opposed Petroecuador’s efforts to remediate pits, fearing such actions might compromise their lawsuit. In fact, the plaintiffs’ local attorney, Pablo Fajardo, was quoted in an interview with La Hora on October 20, 2006 demanding that Petroecuador stop its remediation claiming it was altering his case.
Petroecuador has realized more than $70 billion in revenues over the course of its operations. Very little of those funds have been reinvested to maintain their equipment to prevent spills and remediate pits, or to help the local communities. Instead most of the profits went to the government and toward drilling new wells.
Since it took over operations in 1990, Petroecuador has:
• Been responsible for more than 1,400 spills between 2000 and 2008
• Spilled over 4.4 million gallons of oil
• Admitted it needs to clean up 370 consortia era pits in the concession