press release

Unocal in Central Asia - Letter to the Editor - Los Angeles Times

(The following is a Letter to the Editor of the Los Angeles Times regarding a recent article about the company's pipeline projects in Central Asia)

Los Angeles Times article on Central Asia uses innuendo and errors to cast suspicion on Unocal

To the Editor:

The article, "New Breed of Roughnecks Battles Over Caspian Oil Fields" by James Risen (May 24), attempts to cast a cloud of suspicion on the business activities of Unocal Corporation in Central Asia by extensive use of innuendo and unnamed sources. The article provides no evidence or even credible allegations of wrongdoing. This doesn't surprise us, because there is none to be found.

For more than 30 years, Unocal has built a well-deserved reputation as a reliable, honest and efficient partner in its international operations. We conduct business based on our core values and adherence to the highest standards of ethical conduct. We would never compromise our values or break the law to get a project. We operate to this same high standard in regards to Turkmenistan and the proposed pipeline projects.

The article also contains several errors and misleading statements.

First, Unocal has never "enlisted" Itera International Energy Corp. to participate in any of our projects. We have never signed a business agreement with Itera, nor have we asked for its support in any way.

Second, Delta is just one of seven companies that form the CentGas consortium, which has proposed building a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan. Each of these companies has joined the consortium because of special expertise or resources they bring to the project. Delta is included because of our past relationship with the firm in Azerbaijan where we are co-venturers in two consortia, the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) and the North Apsheron Operating Company (NAOC), and because of its knowledge of the culture and politics of Central Asia.

Third, Unocal is committed to improving the lives of the people wherever we operate. As part of this commitment, we support a range of humanitarian and educational initiatives - in Asia and the Americas. This effort is not limited to Afghanistan, as the article implies.

Finally, wherever Unocal operates, we adhere to the highest ethical standards and follow both the spirit and the letter of U.S. and local laws. There are no exceptions. You can quote us on that.


Roger C. Beach
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Unocal Corporation

Updated: May 1998