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Tribunal supports Chevron in Ecuador case
An international tribunal has determined that agreements
signed by the government of Ecuador in 1995 and 1998 released Texaco Petroleum Co., now part of Chevron Corp., from
environmental liability for land on which it once produced oil.
The ruling upholds an important claim Chevron has made
in its years-long defense against a lawsuit claiming billions of
dollars for environmental damage (OGJ Online, Feb. 14, 2011).
Texaco produced oil in Ecuador as part of a consortium under a concession that ended in 1992. It operated the group until
replaced by the state-owned oil company in 1990. Chevron,
which acquired Texaco in 2001, says the company spent $40
million on environmental remediation and was released from
further liability. Chevron also argues the environmental damage for which Texaco is blamed occurred after the state company took control of the fields.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague earlier
ordered a court in Ecuador not to enforce a judgment against
Chevron, which claims fraud in the case.
“The game is up,” declared Hewitt Pate, Chevron vice-president and general counsel, after the latest ruling by the tribunal.
He said the partial award “confirms that the fraudulent claims
against Chevron should not have been brought in the first place.”
An arbitration hearing on alleged collusion between the Ecuadorian courts and plaintiffs and their lawyers is scheduled
Apache to sell Canadian assets for $112 million
Apache Corp. has agreed to sell certain oil and natural gas producing properties in Canada in two separate transactions for a
combined total of $112 million.
Apache has agreed to sell its Hatton, St. Lina, Marten Hills,
Snipe Lake, Valhalla, and a portion of its Hawkeye producing
properties. These are primarily dry gas developments in Saskatchewan and Alberta and comprise 4,000 operated and 1,300
nonoperated wells that averaged production of 38 Mcfd of gas
and 750 bbl of oil, condensate, and natural gas liquids, net to
Apache, during this year’s second quarter.
The St. Lina and Marten Hills properties were the subject
of arbitration proceedings in 2011 when Apache disputed the
prices of Canadian assets bought from BP Canada as part of a
$7 billion transaction. “Apache alleges that in the future various sites that it acquired from BP Canada Energy pursuant to
the parties’ July 2010 purchase and sale agreement will have to
have work carried out to bring the sites into compliance with
applicable Alberta environmental laws,” BP said at the time the
proceedings were initiated (OGJ Online, March 4, 2011).
Last month Apache sold its Nevis, North Grant Lands, and
South Grant Lands assets, which also are in Alberta, to Ember
Resources Inc. for $214 million (OGJ Online, Aug. 15, 2013).
In addition, it sold 33% of its Egypt operations to Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration & Production Corp for $3.1
billion (OGJ Online, Aug. 30, 2013).
Including transactions involving company properties and
assets in Canada, the Gulf of Mexico and Egypt, Apache has
announced divestments totaling nearly $7.2 billion.
Oasis adding to its Williston basin assets
Oasis Petroleum Inc. has signed four separate, unrelated purchase agreements to acquire certain assets in the Williston basin totaling 161,000 net acres and costing $1.5 billion.
Thomas Nusz, Oasis chairman and chief executive officer,
said the acquisitions add acreage “in the heart of the Bakken
and Three Forks play.”
The four acquisitions are expected to close in early October.
Currently, Oasis of Houston operates 11 rigs and the sellers of
the assets involved operate two rigs, he said.
“We expect to accelerate development across our overall combined position next year, increasing to 15 to 16 operated rigs by
the end of 2014,” Nusz said. “As of June 30, we had approximately
331,000 net acres, and these acquisitions increase our overall
acreage position by almost 50% to 492,000 net acres.”
Oasis agreed to acquire 136,000 net acres in and around its
existing position in North Dakota in its West Williston project
area for $1.45 billion. It also signed three other agreements to
acquire certain assets in East Nesson totaling 25,000 net acres,
for $65 million.
Shell appoints downstream director
Royal Dutch Shell PLC has appointed John Abbott as downstream director, effective Oct. 1. In his new role, Abbott succeeds Ben van Beurden, who will become chief executive of-