EOTT Finds Buried Documents, But Damage Is Extensive
By Roy R. Reynolds

Dow Jones Newswires
23 May 2003

HOUSTON -- EOTT Energy LLC (EOTTV) began unearthing documents from the plains of eastern New Mexico late Thursday, but the company will still have to wait to read them.

"The documents are damp and pretty damaged," said EOTT spokeswoman Gretchen Weis, in a telephone interview with Dow Jones Newswires from the site. "We're going to have to find a document restoration expert to tell us what to do next."

EOTT, once owned by a company that was an Enron (ENRNQ) subsidiary, set off curious minds with the dig last week. The company claimed it didn't know what the documents contained, or who had buried them under the flat ground near Hobbs, N.M.

The land commissioner of New Mexico stopped EOTT last week from digging on state trust land near the energy company's Texas-New Mexico crude oil pipeline. After reaching an agreement with state officials this week, EOTT was able to restart the neo-archeology effort Thursday.

Workers hit paydirt Thursday afternoon, and had brought up 67 boxes of records by Friday morning.

Those documents that have been able to be read were concerned strictly with pipeline operations, Weis said.

"That's just as we expected," she said.

Kristen Haase, assistant commissioner of communication for the New Mexico land office, said last week a man approached land office officials at the site, saying he was an attorney representing a nearby community in a class action suit against former Royal Dutch/Shell Group's (RD) Shell Oil unit for an earlier leak on the pipeline.

Haase, who planned to visit the site on Friday, said the first box uncovered by workers was wrapped in burlap and contained 8 1/2-by-11-inch files.

Weis said workers dug throughout the night to pull up more records, but were taking a break Friday morning.

"They're getting some well-deserved sleep," she said. "The crew estimates that they are 2/3 of the way done."

-By Roy R. Reynolds; Dow Jones Newswires; 713-547-9208; roy.reynolds@dowjones.com

As reported last week by the Associated Press, New Mexico land commissioner Patrick Lyons stopped the unauthorized dig after being notified of the excavation by a worker with ChevronTexaco Corp. (CVX) who was worried about a nearby remediation site.

EOTT holds pipeline and grazing rights on the land, but had no authority to dig, Lyons told reporters last week.

EOTT began the dig on May 8, and said at that time it was looking for pipeline-related documents.

As reported by Dow Jones Newswires, EOTT purchased the eastern New Mexico pipeline assets of Royal Dutch/Shell Group's Shell Pipeline Co. unit in November 1993.

By Roy R. Reynolds; Dow Jones Newswires; 713-547-9208; roy.reynolds@dowjones.com

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