Esso, Gov’t Settle Dispute, Gas Rationing Continues

September 21, 2007

MANAGUA – The government and Esso Standard Oil signed an agreement Sept. 13 settling a nearly month-long dispute over Customs duties that led a judge to embargo some of the U.S. oil company’s assets in Nicaragua.

The accord was drawn up in the Pacific port city of Corinto by Esso executive Gabriel Cedeño and the head of Nicaraguan state oil company Petronic, Rodolfo Zapata.

Part of the pact calls for Esso, a subsidiary of U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil Corp., to lease fuel tanks in Corinto to Petronic when the state-owned firm requires extra capacity to handle shipments of oil from Venezuela, whose leftist government supplies crude to Nicaragua and other nations in the region on generous terms.

At the same time, the agreement returns to Esso’s control seven storage tanks that were seized Aug. 17 at the request of Nicaragua’s Customs service, which alleged that the U.S. firm owed some $2.9 million in unpaid Customs duties.

The Corinto industrial complex, where the storage tanks are located, is to be managed jointly by Esso and Petronic.

Esso’s spokesman in Managua, Gerardo Gonzalez, told reporters that his firm and Petronic will share responsibility for safety and security around the Corinto storage tanks until at least the end of this year.

The accord makes no mention of the original dispute over Customs duties, providing fodder to those who argued the original dispute never had anything to do with taxes in the first place (NT, Aug. 31).

The signing coincided with the arrival in Corinto from Venezuela of the tanker Caribbean Unity, carrying 100,000 barrels of diesel and 20,000 gallons of gasoline.

Despite the apparent settlement, the national press reported over the weekend that many of the Esso, Shell and Texaco gas stations in downtown Managua and in the surrounding departments are still without regular and super gasoline. Some people, including Vice-President Jaime Morales Carazo, are blaming the gas shortage on Esso as a tit for tat payback for the embargo last month.

 

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

The Tico Times Dispatch: An interview with journalist and economist David Ching
Politics
264 views
Politics
264 views

The Tico Times Dispatch: An interview with journalist and economist David Ching

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 23, 2018

Costa Rica’s Plenary Court rejected the proposed tax reform bill last week and asked that four sections of the initiative…

Soy pico rojo: the new form of protest in Nicaragua
La Prensa
476 views
La Prensa
476 views

Soy pico rojo: the new form of protest in Nicaragua

La Prensa - October 23, 2018

Social media has been filled with photos of men and women wearing red lipstick as a way of protest Daniel…

HolaLola: Capturing Costa Rica’s essence in art
Pic of the Day
552 views
Pic of the Day
552 views

HolaLola: Capturing Costa Rica’s essence in art

Alissa Grosskopf - October 23, 2018

You have probably seen Priscilla Aguirre's art at HolaLola before. It captures the beauty of Costa Rica's nature and culture…