Chevron and Transocean Face Lawsuit That Will Test Their International Relationships

On April 3, 2012 oil companies Chevron and Transocean got hit with a second lawsuit from a Brazilian prosecutor, over an oil spill, northeast of Rio de Janiero.  The $11 billion lawsuit seeks to prevent the two companies from taking profits out of Brazil, removing equipment from the country and from operating in Brazil period.  The size and scope of the lawsuit has caught industry experts and Brazilian politicians by surprise, especially given how little oil was spilled.

The lawsuit will test both Chevron and Transoceans connections in the international relations arena as they navigate this difficult situation.  The two companies are likely to utilize the relationships and expertise of their U.S. lobbying operations.  Both organizations have formidable lobbying shops that count numerous lobbyists with experience in the energy and international relations/trade arenas.  These relationships will help the companies as they work to build political support against the Brazilian lawsuit.

Highlights

  • Chevron spent $8.0 million on in lobbying from 2008-2011.
  • Transocean spent $1.1 million on lobbying from 2008-2011.
  • Chevron has eight lobbyists with strong relationships in the Energy/International Relations arena, including two lobbyists that have an expertise in international relations and energy issues.
  • The two companies have hired 8 lobbying firms in 2011 to represent them.
  • Chevron lobbied 12 bills in 2011 dealing directly with energy safety and offshore drilling issues.
  • Chevron disclosed lobbying on Brazilian Offshore Issues as well as Ecuador Rule of Law (it is likely we will see Brazilian Rule of Law on one of the companies future filings).

Chevron

Lobbying Firms Hired by Chevron in 2011

Name Amount
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP  $360,000
Dow Lohnes Government Strategies LLC  $320,000
Mayer Brown LLP  $10,000
Mr. Richard F. Hohlt  $172,000
Ogilvy Government Relations  $600,000
Twinlogic Strategies, LLP  $160,000

Lobbyists Representing Chevron with International Relations/Trade & Energy/Environment Experience

Dean Aguillenv (Ogilvy Government Relations)

  • Legislative Assistant (Defense, Foreign Affairs) – Max Sandlin (1997-1997)

Gordon Taylor (Ogilvy Government Relations)

  • Chief of Staff (Energy and Commerce, Trade) – Chris John (2003-2004)
  • Chief of Staff; Legislative Counsel (Energy, Environment, Trade) – Chris John (2002-2002)
  • Legislative Director; Legislative Counsel (Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Taxes, Trade) – Chris John (1997-2001)

Timothy Keeler (Mayer Brown LLP)

  • Chief of Staff – Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (2007-2008)
  • Chief of Staff – Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (2006-2008)
  • Professional Staff Member (International Trade) – Senate Committee on Finance (1999–2000
  • Staff Assistant (Entitlements and Trade) – Senate Committee on Finance (1998-1998)

Eric S Kessler (Dow Lohnes Government Strategies LLC)

  • Legislative Director to Representative Pallone – House Democratic Environmental Task Force (1996-1997)
  • Legislative Director (Energy, Power, Consumer Protection Issues, Environment, Food Safety, Insurance, Hazardous Materials, Clean Air, Democratic Environmental Task Force, Appropriations) – Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) (1997-1997)
  • Executive Assistant (Public Works, Energy, Power, Consumer Protection Issues, Environment, National Parks, Forest and Public Lands, Wildlife, Hazardous Materials, Clean Air) – Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) (1995-1996)
  • Staff Assistant (Environment) – William J. Hughes (1994-1994)

Peter A. Leon (Dow Lohnes Government Strategies LLC)

  • Legislative Director (Foreign Affairs, Defense, Science, Government Affairs, Telecommunications, Immigration, Energy, Trade, Human Rights) – Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) (2001-2001)
  • Office Manager; Legislative Assistant (Education, Superfund, Nuclear Energy, Agriculture, Environment) – Joseph P. Kennedy, II (1997-1997)

Stephen C Sayle (Dow Lohnes Government Strategies LLC)

  • Counsel – House Committee on Energy and Commerce (1995-1997)

Brian Arthur Pomper

  • Minority (Democratic) Chief Trade Counsel – Senate Committee on Finance (2005-2006)
  • Minority (Democratic) Trade Counsel – Senate Committee on Finance (2004-2004)
  • Minority (Democratic) International Trade Counsel – Senate Committee on Finance (2003-2003)

Sharon Ringley (Twinlogic Strategies, LLP)

  • Deputy Chief of Staff; Press Secretary (Energy and Power, International Relations-Trade, Tourism, Judiciary, Disasters) – Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) (1998-2000)
  • Press Secretary; Legislative Assistant (Foreign Affairs, Tourism) – Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) (1997-1997)

2011 Energy Safety Legislation Lobbied by Chevron

  • 112 H.R.22: Pipeline Safety and Community Empowerment Act of 2011
  • 112 H.R.2845: Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011
  • 112 H.R.2937: Pipeline Infrastructure and Community Protection Act of 2011
  • 112 H.R.1230: Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act
  • 112 H.R.840: Safe Exploration Coming from Underwater Reserves of Energy Act
  • 112 H.R.903: Maximize Offshore Resource Exploration Act of 2011
  • 112 S.1555: Rigs to Reefs Habitat Protection Act
  • 112 S.234: Strengthening Pipeline Safety and Enforcement Act of 2011
  • 112 S.275: Pipeline Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2011
  • 112 S.843: Outer Continental Shelf Permit Processing Coordination Act
  • 112 S.917: Outer Continental Shelf Reform Act of 2011
  • 112 S.953: Offshore Production and Safety Act of 2011

Issues Lobbied by Chevron in 2011

Issues  Description
Foreign Policy Ecuador rule of law and trade issues; Australia Energy Issues; Eurasian Energy Security; Caspian Energy Transportation options; Niger Delta Stability; Indonesia Energy and Investment; Canadian Oil Sands; Somalia piracy H.R.2839 Piracy Suppression Act of ; 2011-piracy at sea; Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2011; Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Energy and Investment Issues; Issues associated with energy development in Iraq, Qatar, China, Korea and Bangladesh;<br>Thailand Energy and Investment Issues; Myanmar Energy and Investment Issues; European Union (EU) Fuel Quality Directive; Eastern European Shale Gas Development; Brazil Offshore Operations; Saudi Arabia Energy Issues.
Trade General trade issues; Trade legislation including the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement, US-Columbia Free Trade Agreement, US-Panama Free Trade Agreement; Issues related to overseas oil and gas resource development.
Issues relating to the Andean Trade Preferences Act; issues relating to the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement; issues relating to permanent normal trade relations for Russia; Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA); Colombia FTA; Panama FTA; Andean Trade Preferences Act; Russia World Trade Organization (WTO) Accession/ Permanent Normal Trade Relations; Extension of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA); Trans Pacific Partnership.
Foreign Relations Ecuador rule of law and trade issues; Australia Energy Issues; Eurasian Energy Security; Caspian Energy Transportation options; Niger Delta Stability; Indonesia Energy and Investment; Canadian Oil Sands; Somalia piracy H.R.2839 Piracy Suppression Act of ; 2011; Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2011; Association of Southesat Asian Nations (ASEAN) Energy and Investment Issues; Issues associated with energy development in Iraq, Qatar, China, Korea and Bangladesh;<br>Thailand Energy and Investment Issues; Myanmar Energy and Investment Issues; European Union (EU) Fuel Quality Directive; Eastern European Shale Gas Development.
Litigation in Ecuador pertaining to environmental cleanup and joint venture with Ecuadorian state-owned oil company;; Policy issues related to Somali piracy of merchant vessels.

Transocean

Lobbying Firms Hired by Transocean in 2011

Name Amount
Capitol Hill Consulting Group  $440,000
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP  $30,000

Energy Issues lobbied by Transocean in 2011

Issues  Description
Energy/Nuclear, Marine/Maritime/Boating/Fisheries, Natural Resources Vessel operations, offshore oil and gas exploration, moratorium and drilling issues.
Environmental/Superfund, Fuel/Gas/Oil, Natural Resources Oil and gas exploration; off-shore drilling; mobile drilling units; energy legislation

Lobbyists Representing Transocean with International Relations/Trade & Energy/Environment Experience

Bill K Brewster (Capitol Hill Consulting Group)

  • Representative (D) – Oklahoma District 3 (1991-1997)
  • Member, Subcommittee on National Security, International Affairs, and Criminal Justice (1995–1996)
  • Member, Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security (1996–1996)
  • Member, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment (1996–1996)
  • Member, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation (1995–1995)

Amanda Hill (Capitol Hill Consulting Group)

  • Confidential Assistant – Chief Agricultural Negotiator (Office of the U.S. Trade Representative) (2002-2002)
  • Legislative Assistant (Agriculture, Armed Services, Economic Development, Environment, Interior, Trade, Water Issues) – Wes W. Watkins (2001-2001)

Jack Victory (Capitol Hill Consulting Group)

  • Legislative Director (Resources, Mining) – Jim Gibbons (2000-2000)

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