19 November 2008
Bad couple of weeks for Chevron
These last couple months have been quite problematic for Chevron. This week the company declared force majeure on 90,000 barrels per day of Nigerian oil exports following the sabotage of a main supply pipeline to its Escravos export terminal. In addition to its economic woes, the company's public image is in jeopardy due to the opening of the damages trial in U.S. District court in the "Bowoto v. Chevron" case. The case is a reaction to events during May 1998, when unarmed residents of the Niger Delta protested at the company's offshore Parabe platform, demanding that the corporation contribute more resources to the development of the area, and were met with violent opposition from the Nigerian military and Chevron security, resulting in the maiming and death of protesters. The suit further attempts to implicate Chevron in gross violation of environmental standards leading to the destruction of ecosystems, and land erosion.
Clearly, Chevron is beginning to lose credibility with respect to its dealings in Nigeria. At what point do the international community and Delta communities begin to lump Chevron with other nefarious companies like Shell and demand openly or through continued sabotage, that they quit the region?