Ecuador Appeals Arbitration Ruling In Chevron Case

QUITO (Dow Jones Newswires), Dec. 23, 2011

Ecuador has asked a district court in the Netherlands to annul an Aug. 31 ruling from an international tribunal in the Hague that awarded oil company Chevron Corp. (CVX) $96 million in connection with claims made in Ecuadorean courts in the early 1990s.

The appeal was presented on Nov. 30, the attorney general's office confirmed to Dow Jones Newswires on Friday.

A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 2 to allow for Ecuador and Chevron to present their arguments, the attorney general's office added.

In August, the Hague tribunal ruling resolved seven commercial claims filed from 1991 to 1993 by Texaco Petroleum Co. for alleged violations of the Bilateral Investment Treaty between Ecuador and the U.S.

Chevron bought Texaco in 2001.

Ecuador has said that the Hague Court doesn't have jurisdiction to hear the case and believes it should be decided in a local court.

"This action was brought by the Republic of Ecuador before The Hague District Court, not before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, whose decisions are final and not appealable," said Chevron spokesman James Craig. "The Republic (of Ecuador), through this action, is seeking to have the award granted to Chevron annulled. Chevron is opposing this action seeking nullification of its victory."

The U.S. company filed the international arbitration case in December 2006 under the rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, or UNCITRAL.

This case is separate from Chevron's ongoing legal dispute in Ecuador, where Texaco is accused of contaminating rain forests with toxic petroleum waste during its operation in this country, a claim rejected by Chevron.

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