* Ecuador court ordered Chevron to pay $19 bln
* Chevron says Ecuador judgment fraudulent, unenforceable
By Guido Nejamkis
BUENOS AIRES, Nov 7 An Argentine judge has
embargoed up to $19 billion in Chevron Corp assets in
the South American country over an environmental damages lawsuit
in Ecuador, a lawyer for the plaintiffs told reporters on
Indigenous tribespeople and farmers in the Ecuadorean Amazon
have sued the U.S.-based oil major in Argentina and Colombia to
collect the $19 billion award.
A 2011 decision by a court in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, ordered
Chevron to pay the sum as a result of water contamination and
inappropriately disposing of oil industry waste during crude
production in the Amazon over a period of nearly 30 years.
Because Chevron has few assets in Ecuador that can be taken
as compensation, the plaintiffs are trying to get the ruling
enforced in other countries.
Chevron is the fourth-largest producer of oil in Argentina.
In September, it signed an accord with state-controlled YPF
, Argentina's No. 1 energy company, to consider a joint
The plaintiff's lawyer, Enrique Bruchou, said the Argentine
judgment includes an embargo on 40 percent of Chevron's
Argentine oil revenue.
"We consider this to be an exemplary ruling," he said. "We
are letting the world know that foreign investment is welcome in
Latin America, but that investors must adhere to the same
environmental protection standards that apply in their own
The company quickly issued a statement calling the Ecuador
"The Ecuador judgment is a product of bribery, fraud, and it
is illegitimate," the statement said. "We do not believe that
the Ecuador judgment is enforceable in any court that observes
the rule of law."
The plaintiffs in Ecuador deny Chevron's accusations.
All the company's operations in Argentina are conducted by
subsidiaries, Chevron said.
"Plaintiffs' lawyers have no legal right to embargo
subsidiary assets in Argentina and should not be allowed to
disrupt Argentina's pursuit of its important energy resources,"