Tag Archive for 'Texaco'

This Sinkhole Sucked Down 11 Barges Like They Were Rubber Duckies

Photo retrieved from: www.motherjones.com

“Lake Peigneur, the site of one of the state’s most spectacular industrial disasters in 1980, kept coming up in my conversations with residents of Bayou Corne, the Cajun community in south Louisiana that has been evacuated for more than a year due to a massive, mining-induced sinkhole that now spans 24 acres—and is still growing. Last week, the state filed suit against Texas Brine and Occidental Chemical Company for damages relating to the disaster. (Read my story on Bayou Corne, which appears in the September/October issue of Mother Joneshere.) So on a sticky Sunday morning in June, I crossed over the Atchafalaya spillway to see the place for myself.

In November of 1980, in the process of generating revenue for (of all things) an environmental cleanup fund, a Texaco oil rig accidentally punctured the top of a salt mine situated beneath the lake. The water above emptied into the mine, creating a whirlpool that sucked 11 barges into the caverns below, turned the lake from freshwater to saline, and caused the Delcambre Canal to flow backwards. Three days later, nine of the 11 barges “popped up like iron corks,” the Associated Press reported; the other two were never found. Miraculously, all 55 workers who were inside the mine at the time of the accident managed to escape.

The disaster caused drilling in Lake Peigneur to cease—at least for a time. The lake showed signs of recovering from its industrial past after that, although it was several hundred feet deeper and stocked with a new species of fish that could live in the saltwater ecosystem. But industry slowly began to creep back.”

Read more: Mother Jones

Ecuador Court Orders Chevron To Pay $8 billion

About 916 pits were used by Texaco Petroleum, the US oil major, and PetroEcuador, the state company, for the 23 years before Texaco’s exit from the country in 1992. Photo retrieved from: www.http://pangaea-yep.com

“A court in Ecuador’s Amazon jungle ordered Chevron Corp to pay more than $8 billion in damages on Monday in a closely watched environmental suit, the plaintiffs’ lawyer said.

But the U.S. oil company vowed to appeal, meaning the long-running case dating from drilling in the South American nation during the 1970s and 1980s could last for years more.

The case, which activists portray as a fight for justice against rich polluters but Chevron says is more to do with opportunism, has triggered related legal action in U.S. courts and international arbitration.

It is being monitored by the oil industry for precedents that could lead to other large claims. Chevron had expected to lose the case in the Ecuadorean court.

In a statement on Monday, Chevron did not give any figure from the ruling by the court in Lago Agrio, but said it believed the judgment was “illegitimate” and “unenforceable in any court that observes the rule of law.”

It said the United States and international tribunals had already taken steps to bar enforcement of the ruling.

Pablo Fajardo, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the court had ordered Chevron to pay more than $8 billion damages.

The lawsuit had originally demanded $27 billion.

LENGTHY APPEALS

Residents of Ecuador’s Amazon region have said faulty drilling practices by Texaco, which was bought by Chevron in 2001, caused damage to wide areas of jungle and harmed indigenous people in the 1970s and 1980s.”

Read more: Los Angeles Times