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13 Feb 2013

Jude Webber, Financial Times

Chevron hit by Argentine legal quagmire

Chevron of the US is understandably eager to be the first international company to develop the vast unconventional oil and gas resources of Argentina if it can. But Chevron’s investment in Argentina has become bogged down in a morass of legal challenges. Many of its assets in Argentina have been frozen as a result of an action by Amazonian villagers pursuing $19bn in damages for pollution in Ecuador more than two decades ago…Chevron’s…entire presence in Argentina, [is] at risk…Chevron failed in an appeal against the ruling, and although its business in Argentina can keep operating, its stock, dividends and 40 per cent of its oil revenues and Argentine bank deposits are frozen….Chevron Argentina said in a paid newspaper advert late last year that the asset freeze would “affect economic progress in Argentina”…“The Argentine asset freeze is probably the most likely thing to lead to a settlement,” says Theodore Folkman…