Ecuador's oil vacillation

Minutes after landing in Quito in early February, I was immersed in a conversation with someone carrying the latest issue of Corporate Counsel magazine. It featured an article about the ChevronTexaco Corp. trial taking place in Lago Agrio, a small frontier town in northern Ecuador. In addition to this unprecedented trial, Ecuador is under scrutiny after increasing value added tax rates and freezing accounts of Canadian operator EnCana Corp.Such troubles contrast with recent success in Ecuador's oil sector.On trialTexaco Petroleum Co. (a subsidiary of the former Texaco Inc.) engaged in exploration and production activities for 28 years in Ecuador (1964-92) as a minority partner (37.5%)...

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