Ecuador: Fight with Occidental to hinder free trade agreement
Ecuador, Sep 22, 2004 (El Universo/SABI via COMTEX)
Representatives of the Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and the Ecuadorian-US Chamber have asked the Ecuadorian government to not transform the non-fulfillments of the US petroleum company Occidental into a political issue while it is a legal problem. The businessmen claim that it could hinder the negotiations of a free trade agreement with the US and the benefits of ATPDEA (Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act). The petroleum authorities have accused Occidental of not informing the Ministry of Energy about the transference of 40% of its stake in block 15 to the Canadian Encana, of overexploiting its fields and of not sending reports about its operations properly. According to Occidental, this year, the government will receive US$350mil for the exploration works in block 15.