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A tower burning off natural gas is reflected in a pool of crude oil and waste left by Petro Ecuador, a company that took over from Texaco. A class action lawsuit was brought against US multinational oil giant Texaco (acquired by Chevron in 2001) by more than 30,000 Ecuadorians. The case has been in the Ecuadorian courts since 2003 and relates to the dumping of billions of gallons of toxic materials into unlined pits and Amazonian rivers. In February 2011 the court ruled that Chevron should pay a fine totalling 9.5 billion. However, Chevron has stated that the ruling is 'illegitimate and unenforceable' and has started numerous counter proceedings in US courts. There is some doubt as to whether it will be possible to force Texaco to pay the fine.