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Chevron wins claim against Ecuador

SAN RAMON, Calif., March 31 (UPI) -- An international court in The Hague ruled in favor of Chevron in a case related to claims the country failed to pay the company for oil in the 1990s.

The international arbitration tribunal found Ecuador violated international laws by delaying rulings on commercial disputes between Chevron subsidiary Texaco Petroleum Corp. and the Ecuadorian government.

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The court in its decision awarded $700 million to Chevron in damages and interest.

"This ruling demonstrates that the government of Ecuador is not above the law," said Hewitt Pate, Chevron vice president and general counsel.

Chevron had asked for $1.6 billion in the case, claiming Ecuador didn't pay the price for oil outlined in deals signed in the 1970s.

Chevron and Texaco sought international arbitration after Ecuadorian courts refused to rule on the case.

Ecuador is defending the action with 11 claims worth more than $6 billion.

The arbitration claim for Chevron is separate from a case lodged by indigenous people in Ecuador who said Texaco caused substantial environmental damage in the country.

Ecuador sued Chevron, claiming its affiliates failed to clean up after oil production in the region from 1968-92. Chevron counters the claims, saying state-run Petroecuador is responsible for the damage.

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