Chevron's Latin America Image Tarnished

23 November 2011

San Francisco, CA – Given Chevron's legacy in Ecuador, there's no reason to suspect the U.S. supermajor will act responsibility with Brazil's oil spill, opponents say.

Chevron, in an update on a mid-November oil spill, said around 2,400 barrels of oil leaked from a so-called seep line near its Frade field off the coast of Brazil.

The company was criticized by Brazilian authorities for underplaying the significance of the spill but did accept full responsibility for the accident.

Ginger Cassady, who directs a campaign against Chevron at environmental advocacy group Rainforest Action Network, said Chevron has a "toxic legacy" in Latin America.

Plaintiffs in Ecuador blame Texaco, which Chevron bought in 2001, for environmental contamination and adverse health effects tied to operations in the country's rainforests from 1972-90.

Petroecuador, Texaco's partner, is to blame for the current pollution, Chevron says.

"From Brazil to Ecuador, Chevron continues to fail to meet environmental standards in the countries where it operates," Cassady said in a statement.

"Countries like Brazil should be cautious to do business with companies like Chevron considering how long the oil giant has evaded responsibility for its environmental crimes in Ecuador."

Chevron maintains it adequately responded to the Brazilian oil spill.

"The company again notes that its combined efforts greatly diminished the size of the sheen and stopped the source of the seep flow within only four days of first detection," the company said.