Chevron's assets embargoed after $19 billion fine

An Argentine court has ordered to embargo Chevron assets in the South American country to help enforce an Ecuadorean court resolution that fined the company $19 billion in environmental damages.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Enrique Bruchou, told local newspaper El Clarín (in Spanish) the ruling includes a freeze on 40% of Chevron’s oil revenue in Argentina, the company’s shares in its local subsidiary and a stake in an oil pipeline.

Last year Chevron lost an environmental lawsuit which concluded that the firm should be forced to pay the lofty sum, reports El Clarín. The amount was determined after evidence of watersheds pollution surfaced.  The pollution had occurred over 30 years and the plaintiffs claimed it sickened indigenous and farmers in the Ecuadorean Amazon.

The firm, second-largest US oil company by market capitalization, has declined to make any payments and alleges Ecuadorean courts decisions are usually fraudulent. Since Chevron has few assets in the Andean nation, the plaintiffs was seeking enforcement of the ruling in neighbouring nations, such as Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, even including Canada.

Chevron is Argentina’s fourth-biggest oil producer.

In May this year Argentina nationalized YPF, the country's largest oil and gas producer.