QUITO – The Ecuadorian government is studying “how to arrive at an accord” with Chevron on a payment schedule for $96 million the U.S. Supreme Court awarded the oil supermajor in litigation against Quito, Finance Minister Fausto Herrera said on Tuesday.
Herrera offered the information during a meeting with reporters in which he participated along with President Rafael Correa, who – in turn – commented that the sanction comes as a result of a suit that the U.S. firm filed because over more than 15 years the Ecuadorian courts would not resolve its lawsuits.
“And effectively, that was it,” said the president, who added that, since he came into office in 2007, his government has pushed through pending trials, “but it was too late,” because Chevron sued the state for denial of justice and won that court battle, a situation that resulted in it being awarded $96 million.
Herrera said that Ecuador has until July 20 to make the payment and added that, along with the Attorney General’s Office, the state should “make a proposal.”
Correa, in a dialogue with foreign correspondents in June, said that he was going to await a response from the oil company before deciding what to do, since Ecuadorian is maintaining an embargo order against Chevron in another lawsuit for environmental damage.
“We first have to see if they pay us ... after having done so much damage to the country,” Correa said at the time.
“With all the lawyers Chevron has, its cases quickly go in its favor and the other (case against the company) they block by any and all means,” the Ecuadorian president said.
He was referring to a guilty verdict against the oil giant by the Ecuadorian court system that ordered it to pay $9.5 billion for causing environmental damage in the Amazon.
Chevron has refused to abide by the conviction by the Ecuadorian courts.