CRUDE: The Real Price of Oil
For preview only. Get it at  #ad.

CRUDE: The Real Price of Oil

2009, Society  -   35 Comments
Ratings: 6.58/10 from 12 users.

CRUDE: The Real Price of OilThe story of lawsuit by tens of thousands of Ecuadorans against Chevron over contamination of the Ecuadorean Amazon.

One of the largest and most controversial legal cases on the planet.

An inside look at the infamous $27 billion Amazon Chernobyl case, CRUDE is a real-life high stakes legal drama set against a backdrop of the environmental movement, global politics, celebrity activism, human rights advocacy, the media, multinational corporate power, and rapidly-disappearing indigenous cultures.

Presenting a complex situation from multiple viewpoints, the film examines a complicated situation from several angles while bringing a story of environmental peril and human suffering into focus.

More great documentaries

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
12 years ago

QUITO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - An Ecuadorean court ruled against U.S. oil company Chevron on Monday in an environmental case that has run on for almost two decades, but the company called the ruling "illegitimate" and said it would appeal the decision.

"The Ecuadorean court's judgement is illegitimate and unenforceable," Chevron said in a statement.

Pablo Fajardo, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, confirmed that a court had ruled against Chevron.

Residents of Ecuador's Amazon region have said that faulty drilling practices by Texaco, which was bought by Chevron in 2001, caused damage to wide areas of jungle and indigenous people in the 1970s and 1980s.

The lawsuit has triggered related legal action in U.S. courts and international arbitration. It is being closely watched by the oil industry for precedents that could lead to other large claims.

12 years ago

It turned out to be another UN propaganda tool in any event. Stir up righteous outrage in viewers, using facts and then the big sell of how caring the UN are with their cheap stupid plastic bins as a solution! We saw through the crap so they withdrew the advertisement - not all of us are sufficiently dumbed down to their level of liking. YET.

12 years ago

Kieran: That's how crass advertising is and has become via adwords etc. Although it's like a slap in the face, the advertisers are either testing response (dare we imagine that amongst viewers are those who spot a dead cert?)or haven't a clue it's appeared here. If it were intentionally placed, the message would be "you can knock the socks of multinational oil companies for all you're worth; it is the general public who collude with and support the industry through their own irresponsible and hypocritical greed". The only way these psychopathic pirates could continue to practice is through the aquiessence of the multitudes. We tend to talk and walk in opposite directions.

12 years ago

There is an advert below this doc telling me that i can get a 30% bonus if i start trading in oil. i find this really offensive, who watching this film would want to start recieving the blood money from this filthy industry?

12 years ago

There was something Missing in this documentary or perhaps I wasn't listening and paying real attention to the important facts, which will have a future adverse impact on all parties involved.

I guess I should watch and listen to this documentary again....

12 years ago

@ DaftAida

Vitriole? Its spelled vitriol first of all, and sorry I offended your delicate sensibilities but you don't warrant getting upset. You are simply another example of the confusion and lack of moderation that has gotten this country in the economic and political mess it is in. I don't label myself as liberal, but I do hold many liberal ideals. Like doing away with religion, having sensible gun control, and listening to science instead of the almighty profit and superstition that runs the neocon hate machine. But, above all of that, I would do away with ideologies that are supposed to cover every issue, which is impossible, like liberalism or conservatism, and of course the newly popular ideology libertarianism. Another thing I believe whole heartedly in is doing away with extremism, like you have displayed above.

As far as defending liberalism, I don't think I need to do that here as ninety percent of the people on this site have expressed liberal points of view at different times. In fact you expressed some very liberal points of view in your rant about corporate irresponsibility, though you got too extreme. Yeah boy, us evil liberals and our sneaky ideas about being educated, moderate, secular, and non violent. (LOL)

By the way, you give your own ignorance away again; liberalism was originally about laissez faire and doing away with government intrusion on civil liberty. It now stands for a belief in Keynesian economics and belief that government can (notice I said can, not does) work for the betterment of the citizen. So, obviously you don't know the history behind the word. Basically it was the libertarianism of old, and in the people’s defense that believed in it back then, they had good reason to.

Look, you are obviously one of those people that feel they must have the last word and prove to everyone how intelligent you are. It’s apparent by the way you phrase things and try to use the most sophisticated words possible to express the most simple of ideas. So go ahead and make your insults and accept the fact that yes, someone dared to challenge your ideas. Maybe then you can look at what I actually said and realize that it doesn’t require your approval. Its common sense, to most on this site I think, to examine both sides and be moderate about your approach, and that’s all I was recommending.

12 years ago

No need for vitriole; calm yourself down. I was actually being polite about liberalism; I know full well the historical background, roots and application of 'liberalism' - the effects are visible everywhere, including the things you claim to fear. Sneak in the back door, putrify the core and collapse cohesive communities. Not that I'm interested in further futile discourse or justifying anything to a liberal, with their circular reasoning. Thank you for misunderstanding the nuance in my name. Proof positive. Ta-Ra!

12 years ago

@ DaftAida

See what I mean? I tell you that your over the top rhetoric and the obviouse chip you are carrying is mucking up the message,and you make the m0r0nic statement that being liberal is playing the center. To be liberal means you have a far left veiw, politics 101 genuise. Oh, and let me clear a few things up for you; you nor anyone else has any idea what we "all know inside", "one and all" has made no decisions, if we did you would know nothing about it, and I am not hiding nor scared of anything other than dental work, taxes, and that d#mn clown in the Stephen King movie that gives me the willies. You seem to be one of those people that thinks the reality you experience is the only truth in the world. You fail to give validity to any opposing point of view. Not to daft, Aida.

12 years ago

@ Wayne,
You are wrong good sir, since the steps required for clean up, as layed out in the film, require an inspection after each step, it is then the responsibility of the purchasing company (PetroEcuador) to ensure the sights are cleaned. Since PetroEcuador is a state owned oil company (meaning the government owns it) it is now the liability of the Ecuadorian government, and Cheveron/Texaco is no longer liable for the fact that the inspection was done in a piss poor manner.
That being said, this film did exactly what it was set out to do. Piss people off and enrage the public. I think it was EXTREMELY bias, and people start freaking out without thinking, all in the name of "human rights".
People, just because you show concern, it doesn't mean you really ARE concerned. Chevron isn't just a gas station, they drill for gas, and oil, refine it, sell it to other companies etc. If you are that concerned about what they are doing, and really want to boycott, then stop living all together. Chevron is an enormous company with its hand in the economy so deep that most people don't even realize. 90% of the material goods in this world today are made from oil, stop purchasing, becasue you never know what oil Chevron drilled up, heck it could be the oil from the amazon that is used to make your hair product, or the plastic on your key board, or to fuel your car, or even to fuel those planes featured oh so often in this documentary.
There are always consequences in life, I do admit that this film makes Chevron look like a big bad nasty giant, which could be true, but don't jump on the bias bus without ALL the facts. Thats what most Germans did when Hitler cried wolf, look where it got them.

Now don't go saying im comparing this documentary to Hitler, I'm saying, that since one person says something (i.e. This documentary saying that Chevron is the bad guy), it doesn't make it true. Lay out all the facts, then judge for yourselves.

12 years ago

Sara McMillen presented conflicting arguments. she claims there is absolutley ni evidence of contamination yet slaos claims the science is difficult to prove.
In any case, the steps required to clean up the site were layed out and the physical evidence proves those steps were not performed. That means Texeco violeted the terms of teh contract thus voiding the terms of the contract thus Ecuador can sue Texeco/Chevron dispite any agreement with the state run oil company that took over operations. Any recent evidence ,like oil running down a river, is immaterial.

12 years ago

We kneel humbly before the voice of reason, admonished. The apologists, this has nothing-what-so-ever to do with revenge. Nothing to do with encouraging further suffering to my family through violent acts of bloody revenge. It is everything to do with having the honesty and backbone to do what is necessary for the protection of all as decided by one and all. There is a right way to achieve every desire, you know, and a right way to heal every ill. We all know this truth deep inside and it is nothing to fear or hide from. Those responsible for mass deceit will admit, on occassion that if they were in our position .... I take their advice for they should know best. There is no peaceful solution with these types; look at Palestine for an exoteric outplay of the point. Anyway, after 35 years of self-education, I am still only halfway through the film.

Anyway, each of us has unwanted interactions with this system due to co-dependency and it is in our very personal circumstances that we most directly support the all that is (wrong). That is where I have to start delinking from in order to actively participate in the process of discovering freedom. In order to even do this, I must clear myself of inner junk and programming. Facing self warts and all. From such humble beginnings, mighty change can flow.

Despite heavy programming to the contrary, it is essential to acknowledge and express our feelings and the responses to this film incorporate righteous outrage on behalf of the mothers, fathers, children and animals who are reflecting the damage to Earth through pernicious acts of willful eco-terrorism. It is very inconvenient to step off the fence of liberalism. That's too bad.

12 years ago

I agree with you on grounds that we should investigate and actually look at the data and the research to confirm the validity of this story. This country is run by big corporations and they often lobby the government to go in the direction they want-where the profits are.

Do you know why our economy sucks? Money never existed in the first place!Banks created the invisible commodity called" money". Big corporations get bailed out, eliminate jobs and manipulate They even raised the interest rate up to 30% after they were bailed out. yeah right.

Considering the natural gas drilling operations close to home and just next to a college campus and residential area. Corporations wouldn't even care a damn about code of ethics they don't have one.
The way to change this is probably sapping their powerful leverage on government and lowering the CEOs annual income.

I think the big corporations are really evil to kill most of the small businesses. Small businesses used to be the backbone of a robust economy, but now it's all about the corporations and investment per se. Lack of competitions is what gives Microsoft and Apple iphone/ipod/ipad the most money and not to mention these grasping oil companies. Oh I forgot the water bottle companies even drill water wells from the faucet and resell them back to us at more than double the price, we still pay for it.

Gotta change the system, or else one day people would rise up and kill the bankers and all other big corporations.

12 years ago

I am not syaing that I disagree with what the majority of people have to say here, or I agree with at least the general gist of what they are saying, maybe not all the details. But, have you ever truly backed off and listen to the way that each person seems to be absolutedly positive that what they think is correct factually, morally, and ethically. It reads like a bunch of psuedo intellectual b.s. really. Lets face it, we don't know what is truth and what is propaganda, most of the time. Most have a general hatred toward corporations, anyone with money, or conservatives and immediately assume anything damaging reported about them as true.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying this documentary is not true, it probably is. I am not saying that I like big business or the conservative right wing agenda. In fact, though I try to avoid labels, I consider myself a liberal and have very little money. I am also undecided about belief in any kind of god or religiouse dogma, well I say undecided in reality I am an atheist. My point is not to praise any of these things or to condemn the opposite, only to remind us all of the need for humility and moderation.

All the overly sophisticated verbiage and calls for executing the rich and powerful make you sound vindictive and biased, not intelligent nor environmentally consciouse. Saying stock holders should be arrested for instance is over the top. Most stock holders don't even know who they have invested in, their broker does. These days investors have intentionally tried to diversify and invest in balanced portfolios, and most have no clue what those they have invested in are doing. Besides, all of our well being depends on the economy, and investment is a huge part of that.

Look, all I am saying is that there is a difference in calling for justice and equality vrs going over board and condemning well meaning people that have no ill intent but only want to secure a retirment and decent standard of living. We don't need foaming at the mouth tree hugging hippies, we need level headed people that understand there is no such thing as pure evil and thus no need to start calling for the mass execution of anyone that even walked by wall street for some reason. The truth is there is no simple answers, no matter how angry or cheated you feel. If we do not want to become the very thing we are trying to defeat we need balance and a little humility. Otherwise we are them, the only difference is what we covet and kill for. We are fighting for a principle not to get revenge against certain people, right?

12 years ago

Employees who are 100% dependent on their salaries, benefits and pensions will always maintain official lines and the public statements enforced by their companies and beekeeper, even if public statements are known by employees to be blatant lies.

This is known as financial control, manipulation and the blackmail of employees. Employees are of course free to change jobs if they have a conscience but many don't, until they are sacked.......

If we remove/change dependencies and someone offers some of these Chevron employees an environmental job, we are more likely to learn about the dirty linen within the Almighty V and elsewhere, over many decades.

There are a variety of oil companies in Ecuador including Repsol of Spain, Eni of Italy, Andes Petroleum, PetroOriental of China, Enap of Chile, etc. Chevron is not alone.

(This situation is no different to the foolish whores who marry for money and are then consequently 100% controlled and enslaved by the financial source.)

12 years ago

You can bet yur life they would not try this in the US .
It would never have gone so far .

12 years ago

The bitch is a whore, the lawyer's a pimp and unless we each apply common law (for starters) the brothel will continue to boil. To see the pitiful suffering of animals, humans and the very Earth herself, moves us, motivates us, inspires us toward right thinking and right action. The more the Sara and Joseph's expose themselves as pimps and whores, the stronger we become, fuelled with right-mind and hearted indignation. The more our people (we are all our people outside the elites) die from deliberate bio and eco terrorism, the clearer it becomes that death for many is death for all. We are facing the results of our irresponsibility through continuing to make excuses for playing pimp and whore ourselves and paying dearly for such pornographic behaviour. This film has really pissed me off.

12 years ago

I'm in accord with all here. Since 2006, I've harboured a desire to spend some time in Ecuador and did the research. What a brilliant climate, eco-environment and natural lifestyle fuelled my connection with place. Ecuador had its economy and currency bust and since petrodollar was enforced, tons of Americans have been buying up some georgeous properties for peanuts. Dumping in the Valley of Longevity will have it renamed Tunnel of Death as a stark metaphor for the intentions behind these henious actions worldwide.

As for Perkin's Enlightened remorse, he started out in the Peace Corps and as far as I can make out, is continuing this function. The Peace Corps (one faction named Project Camelot) were/are an intelligence gathering infiltration op which slips beneath the radar of defense, with it's charitable insinuations. Since his epiphamy, Perkin's role has shifted in this respect, to subtle influence - kind of giving back to the cause which allowed him to enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle as a hitman.

Today, such retired peace corps will continue to support the genocidal agenda via 'climate change' 'overpopulation' and Earth religion. A trip to his personal website belies a more esoteric agenda at play in his motivations. It is a nice fantasy that our inner child longs to hear; nasty men do 'find god' and renounce their evil deeds and ways. They make ammends for the bad by philanthropic and charitable dues. The public are duped to believe that charities and philanthropy are 'good'. Public support for peace corps and outrage when they are attacked or prevented access to the ground interior, ensures sufficient pressure can be brought to bear on all but the most resilliant of nations.

As for the Ecuadorian people, they follow the errors of displaced indigenous throught history, in allowing any 'federation, foundation or society' formed from outside their nucleas to mediate unless proven to be bone fide' to their interests. For example, as many as three treaties in one single day were broken by the American federates to the indigenous American peoples. Reparations, just as in charitable donations, are siphoned off and away from those most affected. Yet the beat goes on.

To the extent we grow wise to these many wiles, will be the extent to which we can redress power by force and put into place and practice our common humane values to be shared by all.

All that is, except those responsible for the appalling degeneration of life on this planet in all of it's complexities. These must be recognised and removed for psychopathic disease cannot as yet be cured. They have given no compassion, empathy or justice. They shall receive none in return. Those of no more moral standards than yesterday's sewage, they too are held accountable for private profiteering at everyone's expense. The biggest problem after that, would be the insanity programmed into the people. We have the structures, technologies, wealth, experience and if we have the will, all can be used to clear up the mess of so many misunderstandings. Maybe within 2 or 3 generations we could see Earth and all within as the truly miraculous and exciting place to be where everyone born was welcomed as unique and everyone knew, understood and applied the common laws. Those who would not would have those simple laws applied to them. Traditional and natural humane relations within communities counsel, chide, admonish, exclude and finally exile anti-humane behaviours. Excluded or exiled individuals cannot survive. If they somehow commune, they die. Can't have parasites without a suitable host.

The cure for cancer is the cure for us; create the right environment for the right conditions to flourish. All senior management and above, including major shareholders should be arrested. This across the corporate board. Good start from where I'm sitting. Who would arrest them? We within the structures that the PTB are using to control and kill. There are military, scientific, philosophic and religious, educational, police, administration and every walk of life. If we can gain the clarity and courage to say No and act No, then things would be a whole lot different.

At this juxtiposition of crumbling past and birthing future, everyone is responsible for how that future shapes up. Our biggest problem is self-confidence from ignorance and disconnect. Plenty of that, for sure!

By the measure

12 years ago

I don't think Global companies should be able to get away with this type of neglegence in reguards to there own responserbilies to ensureing the local populations well-being and their health in the communties they profit from . The Judicial system that deals with these cases also needs to be given
unique legal provisons or rights to ensure the people being affected health wise are allowed all medical assistance required instantly until the responserble party can own up and repay the debts they create by causing this shamefull situation that's there's and theres alone........

12 years ago


the power of organised consumers could topple any corporate entity in the world today in a matter of days. We have the money, but they trick us into thinking it is the other way around. The withholding of business by intelligent consumers could literally change the world. In fact I think its the only real way people can exercise power. We live in a world totally dominated by corporations yet we still suffer the illusion of democracy. real power is in your wallet and you can demonstrate it by simply choosing to buy the right things.

i.e electric car over petrol and diesel

yes it would put additional strain on the utility infrastructure, but it would send a message and company's forcing them to adapt, to what we wanted rather than telling us what we should have.

They brand us as consumers like we are some sort of heard of animals, so I think we should simply stampede. It's ultimately a matter of attitude, do you want to live in ignorance or do you want to confront the man in the suit? I want to confront him, but not with violence, I simply want to walk away from him and let him starve as he does with others.

12 years ago

I agree with Bjoune.I was thinking the same thing while watcing the doc.Bring back a jar of that water and say hey if you trust your science so much have a drink Sara and tell me if all these people made this up.

12 years ago

Just on a side note, what is the music played at 1:09:55, the scene where Trudie gets on the plane? If anyone knows the exact song, please let me know. I tried all the songs posted in the credits, but didn't find that one.

12 years ago

BTW, doesn't environmental science have any ethics? Oh yes, I forgot that money, i.e. the religion of shameless capitalists, doesn't have ethics.

12 years ago

@ Sara Mcmillen of Chevron.
Do you think people who watch this doc are all blind and no one noticed your gulping when you say 99% of that s**t is bla bla bla to those 'funny' US standards? Are you so naive to believe that your lying eyes contradicted your flimsy evidence and so-called research?
You're either an naive miserable thing - is this likely, given your position in that multi-billion corp.? - or an evil ugly thing, not a woman with a real heart. Watch that mum again and reflect upon that or see a priest before you lose your face completely.
Surely humanity will go downhill (is already going), when there's no sense of shame.

12 years ago

People need to understand the power of the people I was reading today about a library that the local council want to close to save money. What happen a small group of people got together and took the maximum amount of books out within a few days the library had no books left. The same goes for any company if people boycote these companies it will hurt them where it really hurts in the bank account AKA NO Money No Cash Flow no business.

ha pakal
12 years ago

excellent doc. Hitler said 'I see no reason why man should be more moral than nature.' really clearly articulating the meat-hook reality of hum,an existence. And that despite our lofty pretenses at philosophic moral conceptions, man remains 'red in tooth and claw.' (Unfortunately, for most people on earth).

People are such a disappointment - I dont know what to do sometimes.

I know that as time progresses so do the potential and opportunity for abuse increase. (see changes made to US laws after 9/11..-or history. and that man,,we, need a sort of moral awakening, yet its this very thing our enemies lie in wait pounce upon our kindnesses. (only though trust can be betrayed) Civilization is built upon a balance of these two things.

It is (VERY) important to be active at a grassroots level because we're so conditioned otherwise,, we're so entertained and misndisninformed and utterly distracted. whenin reality society is more like a bucket of water in which even a drop added raises the level for all. -albert

12 years ago

Seemed like a really interesting doc but I also had problems with the screen freezing, the sound disappearing etc. so unfortunately I only saw the first 50 minutes.

Does anyone know who spilt that drop of oil in the river stream? Planting evidence I dare say.

12 years ago

The sad part is that chevron does not even care that it also effects there drinking water.
Everyones water all over the world is contaminated by oil and other petrochemicals
It wont be long now until fresh uncontaminated drinking water is worth more than gold.....If there is such a thing as clean water that is safe to drink.
Chevron are pond scum....

12 years ago

Sara McMillen shame on you and the rest of the lying scum. dont know how any of them can sleep at night.
the evil of money rearing its head yet again.
this planet is being destroyed beyond repair, makes me sick.

12 years ago

I would like to see Sara McMillen drink that jar of water being sampled, since it qualifies as drinkable.

I feel bad for people who think that money is the most important thing here in life. It's just sad.

12 years ago

it stops loading after 10 mins :s

12 years ago

That Sara McMillen should be ashamed of herself.
She knows she is lying to her teeth.
This is disgusting, all sbout money for the stockholders.
It makes me puke.

12 years ago

thats what i hate about people like kent robertson
people with no spine and no other emotion except when they lose a dollar
no regards for other people's life
no regard for the earth
pollute rivers where people live from
and as a result
people's kids die
and STILL they have the guts to say " they just wanna have money , they wanna profit of a nice friendly company like texaco "

12 years ago

Such an eye-opening glimpse at how the nasty game is played by multi-billion oil companies. It was appalling what the Cheveron Chief Environment Scientist has said throughout the movie" there's no evidence showing any increase in cancer rate, contamination level that is a threat to the health of the environment" and " as a scientist, if there's harm to public health I would raise a red flag and blah blah" total gibberish. She probably gets paid more than $200,000.

I guess, to the industries profits come first and moral standard and ethical values are just trivial. I'm saddened to hear what Cheveron claims that there's no scientific proven evidence....blah blah. People are dying off drinking water and bathing from the river streams untouched by contamination and oil spills a long time ago. Lie and lie and lie whatever it takes to maximize profits ...oh yeah 200 billion annual revenues aren't enough for them.