ChevronTexaco Chairman & CEO David O'Reilly Addresses The Council of the Americas
Asserts that Broad Support of Free Trade, Industry Privatization and a Competitive Market Pay Strong Dividends to Latin American Countries
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 29, 2003 -- ChevronTexaco Chairman and CEO David J. O'Reilly today urged U.S. government policy makers and Latin American leaders to support free trade. Speaking to government officials and business leaders at the Council of the Americas 33rd Washington Conference, O'Reilly contended that free trade leads to growth, economic stability and transparency.
According to O'Reilly, companies like ChevronTexaco have the capital to make the large long-term investments that are needed to find and develop the region's oil and natural gas. "However, we also have a responsibility to our shareholders to invest their money wisely and in projects that can deliver a competitive return. For that reason, it's important we direct our funds to countries committed to developing stable commercial systems and social structures that provide for the safety and security of our people and our property."
O'Reilly cited several ways that the governments throughout the Americas could help ensure a smoother trading environment. "First," he said, "is by remembering that free trade is about give and take and creating a winning environment for all participants. That's why it's important that the U.S. and its trading partners work in Latin America and elsewhere to ensure that market access flows in both directions. At the same time, all nations, including the developed ones, must respect the decisions of international arbitration panels on trade, even when those rulings go against one of their own domestic interests."
O'Reilly voiced the company's support for free trade agreements and emphasized their importance to the Latin American energy industry. "ChevronTexaco supports free trade agreements and believes it's vitally important that governments move the free trade agenda forward," he said.
In his comments, O'Reilly spoke about the region in terms of its energy resources, he covered the progress that economic reform has already brought to Latin America's petroleum industry, and he described the challenges ahead and how they might best be met.
Brazil's and Argentina's petroleum industries as well the Bolivia-Brazil Gas Pipeline were all cited as successful examples of open markets and economic growth for the region. O'Reilly referred to the pipeline as a testament to policies that encourage foreign investment, multilateral guarantees, open trading rules and independent regulation.
"These are definitive examples of how Latin America's petroleum industry has benefited from economic reform. But these are benefits that are not confined to the industry alone. Rather, they have rippled through every sector of society. By the encouragement of foreign investment, new jobs have been created and new skills developed; infrastructure has been built; and a spirit of entrepreneurship has been unleashed as local citizens have built their own businesses to support their countries' petroleum operations."
ChevronTexaco's presence in Latin America reaches back to 1913. Today, the company's operations across the region produce more than 500,000 barrels of oil per day, span five oil-producing countries and include some of the most promising exploration acreage in the region. ChevronTexaco also markets through more than 5,000 service stations, manufactures lubricants and has marketing operations across Latin America. ChevronTexaco's commitment to the region has brought jobs and investment and has helped build schools, hospitals and clinics.
Cautionary Statement Relevant to Forward-Looking Information for the Purpose of "Safe Harbor" Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
This news release contains forward-looking statements about the effects of free trade on the economic environment of the Americas. The statements are based on management's current expectations, estimates and projections; are not guarantees of future performance; and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond the company's control and are difficult to predict. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are the actual terms of free trade agreements; stability of national social, legal and commercial structures; local political events and general economic conditions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Unless legally required, ChevronTexaco undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Updated: April 2003