The case of Ecuador against Chevron continues on; and whilst Ecuador has won their landmark court judgement, Chevron is still refusing to pay the $18 billion demanded as recompense for the disaster which ruined the precious environment and decimated indigenous groups, causing an outbreak of cancer and other oil-related diseases that have killed or threaten to kill thousands of men, women, and children.
The villagers have now taken their case to the Superior Tribunal of Justice in Brazil's capital of Brasilia, the highest civil court in Brazil, in an attempt to receive permission to seize Brazilian assets owned by Chevron in order to claim the $18 billion owed.
If successful Chevron could face some trouble, as, with one of the largest proven oil reserves in the world, Brazil is a major strategic play for Chevron’s long-term growth. The country is already Chevron’s second largest production market in Latin America and one of the top ten markets in the world for the oil giant's capital spending. The Ecuadorian villagers shouldn’t find it too difficult to harvest their $18 billion from the Chevron’s Brazilian assets, but the result could seriously damage the oil major’s growth in the region.
The Ecuadorians chances of gaining approval are looking good as Chevron’s reputation in Brazil is not great at the moment. It already faces a possible $22 billion fine in civil and criminal penalties in due to an offshore spill at their $3.6 billion deep water oil well in the Frade field, back in November; which they tried to unsuccessfully cover-up.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com