Monday saw the end of an epic struggle for Chevron
As I see it, the case gives just one example of a difficulty that Western integrated oil companies frequently face as they attempt to locate and develop oil and gas reserves in such faraway parts of the world. Despite the favorable verdict, I also expect more of those companies' activities to return to North America, as they help the less financially flush independent producers -- including Chesapeake
Chevron potentially faced liability because of the Alien Tort Claims Act, a 1789 law that lets aliens file suit in U.S. courts when they believe there has been a violation of international laws by Western companies. The allegation in the case was that Chevron's decision to call in the Nigerian military following three days of protests on a company offshore facility ultimately resulted in the two deaths.
The Alien Tort Claims Act has been used infrequently, but it'll get another try next year involving Royal Dutch Shell
What does this all mean for Fools with a yen for energy investments? For my money, it demonstrates the staying power of the major energy companies in a world that's both economically and geopolitically topsy-turvy. For example, ExxonMobil
So as one who believes that 2009 will be far more active from an energy perspective than most analysts expect, I'm inclined to look closely at these Big Oil players that are able to survive overseas shenanigans while they reinvigorate their opportunities in North America.
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