17 Nov 2005

Judicial Inspection of Shushufindi-45 Proves Texaco Conducted Additional Remediation Efforts Outside of Those Established in the Remediation Agreement

Shushufindi-45 is another Active Petroecuador Site Remediated by Texaco

Nueva Loja, November 17, 2005 - While the judicial inspection was being carried out at Shushufindi-45A, the President of the Superior Court of Nueva Loja was able to verify the effectiveness of the remediation performed by Texaco in two pits which were addded to the inventory of sites to be remediated, despite the fact that they were not originally included in the company's contractual obligations.

Likewise, the Court was able to confirm that as Chevron has stated, Petroecuador has continued to conduct oil operations at the sites remediated by the company; therefore any environmental impact caused by these operations subsequent to 1990 is of the exclusive responsibility of the state owned company. During the inspection, a group of Petroecuador workers was conducting a workover of the well. Currently, this site is operated by Petroecuador as a produced water reinjection well.

Other Highlights:

  • Counsel for Chevron explained to the Court that Texaco had to remediate four pits at this site. Two oil pits were remediated by Texaco after they were added to the remediation program while the company was already performing environmental relief works ordered by the State. The decision was made after the State supervisors in charge of verifying the effectiveness of Texaco's efforts established that these pits should also be remediated.
  • Additionally, Chevron's counsel expressed to the Court that the other two pits were excluded from the Remediation Program by the Ecuadorian Government and Petroecuador. As the Judge was able to confirm in the official remediation Actas, the first pit was a water pit which at the time of the remediation was being used by members of the community; the community requested that no remediation be performed at this pit and the Ecuadorian Government, representing the people, ordered this pit to be excluded from the inventory of pits to be remediated.
  • The President of the Superior Court was also able to observe the fourth pit which, from the time of the remediation until today, is still being used by PETROECUADOR for the discharge of "gas distillates" and "white gasoline" coming from a gas compressor built at the well by the state owned company, independent from work performed by the former Consortium. For Chevron, current environmental conditions at this site where Texaco already fulfilled its remediation obligations are of the exclusive responsibility of Petroecuador's ongoing oil operations.
  • Finally, the defense delivered to the Court legal documents signed by the colonos who live in the area, together with pre- and post-remediation photographs of this site which support the allegations presented during the Inspection.

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