Demonstrations on the streets of Buenos Aires turned violent Wednesday, with 5,000 marchers protesting a possible deal for Chevron to extract oil and gas in a southern province.
Under an agreement with state-owned energy company YPF, Chevron could produce in the Vaca Muerta region in the Neuquen province.
Argentina’s Supreme Court lifted a freeze on Chevron assets in June, allowing the company to move forward with exploration and production plans.
Forty percent of Chevron’s assets in Argentina had been frozen at the request of Ecuadorean plaintiffs. They were seeking to enforce a $19 billion award against Chevron for environmental damage allegedly done by Texaco, which Chevron acquired in 2001.
Argentina government officials said the deal with Chevron will boost production. The country has huge shale formations.
But activists cited Chevron’s use of fracking and the threat the practice poses to the environment.
What REPSOL did before, Chevron will do now. That means contamination of our natural resources and serving the interests of transnational companies…The project will destroy the country’s largest freshwater basin. Water is more important than oil, and that is what these people are worried about, said Julio Fuentes, secretary of the Association of State Workers.