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Washington Examiner – Hague slams banana republic’s shakedown lawyers

Date: Apr 2, 2010

Chevron has just won a key battle in its 15-year legal struggle with the government of Ecuador and embarrassed some greedy American trial lawyers in the process.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague awarded the oil company $700 million in damages after ruling that Ecuadorian courts violated an international agreement by ignoring seven breach-of-contract lawsuits.

The lawsuits were filed by Texaco Petroleum (which was later bought by Chevron) over a 1998 contract in which Ecuadorian officials certified Texaco’s environmental remediation in drilling operations with the government-owned Petroecuador. Texaco was a minority partner in the venture, which harvested 1.7 billion barrels of oil between 1972 and 1992. The Ecuadorean government got 95 percent of the profits.

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