Cablegate Chronicles: The Chevron Incident

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This is an installment from our on-going series on the adventures of American diplomats and the people they monitor. The red button below will take you to another random episode.

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An American ambassador discusses the 'Chevron Incident', in which, KazMunaiGas First Vice President Maskat Idenov expelled from a meeting Chevron executives Guy Hollingsworth, President for Chevron Eurasia, Europe, and Middle East Exploration and Production, and James Johnson, Chevron Eurasia Strategic Business Unit Managing Director.


FROM: ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN
TO: STATE DEPARTMENT
DATE: FEBRUARY 15, 2008
CLASSIFICATION: SECRET
SEE FULL CABLE

On January 15, KazMunaiGas First Vice President Maskat Idenov expelled from a meeting Chevron executives Guy Hollingsworth, President for Chevron Eurasia, Europe, and Middle East Exploration and Production, and James Johnson, Chevron Eurasia Strategic Business Unit Managing Director. In press reports, an unnamed source stated that the two were thrown out of the meeting because of "improper comments on Kashagan negotiations and disrespectful conduct towards KazMunaiGas management." Johnson told us later that the incident occurred at the end of a meeting that had gone generally well, and resulted from an innocent issue over the newly-arrived Johnson not having his cell phone number handy to exchange with Idenov. Idenov,s version of the conversation was heavy with descriptions of Hollingsworth & pounding on the table 8 and Johnson slowly tapping a business card on the table while telling Idenov all he needed was his secretary's phone number. Idenov almost immediately sent a letter of protest to Chevron CEO Dave O,Reilly, and faxed (twice) a cc to the Ambassador. Knowledge of the incident, and the letter, have been the talk of the diplomatic and business community ever since, with sources ranging from the Indian Ambassador to the local ABN Amro chief raising it with the Ambassador.

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