Chevron's stock price is down because of the company's failure to properly contain the fallout from its US$19bn Ecuador liability, a blog post on The Chevron Pit reports today.
The Chevron Pit reports that an analyst, writing on the widely-read Seeking Alpha web site, stated that he believes that the Ecuador judgment will be enforced against Chevron. He also questioned whether Chevron CEO John Watson properly vetted the company's purchase of Texaco for the environmental liability.
Chevron operated in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest under the Texaco brand from 1964 to 1992. During that time, the company admitted that it discharged 16 billion gallons of toxic waste into streams and rivers, decimating indigenous groups and causing an outbreak of cancer.
“It certainly raises questions as to why Chevron's due diligence of Texaco was not more thorough... and why management has consistently downplayed the impact of the case,” wrote an analyst with the Columbian-based independent investment analytics firm, Caiman Valores.
Because Chevron refuses to pay the Ecuador judgment, the company currently faces asset seizure actions in Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador. Roughly US$15bn in company assets are subject to seizure in those four countries, according to court filings.
Since a key legal decision in Ecuador in mid-October went against Chevron, the company's stock is down significantly relative to its peers, according to the analysis.