Nueva Loja, is the capital of the province of Sucumbíos in Ecuador. It was founded in the 1960s as a base camp of Texaco. The official population estimate as of 1995 was 19,262 and as of 2009 its population is calculated to be 26,004. Nueva Loja is located in central Sucumbíos, in the Amazonian forest, and is one of the most important cities in northeastern Ecuador. Its importance comes from the oil extraction. It is named after Loja as many of the first colonizers came from the Southern Province of Loja.
The area around the city, the Lago Agrio oil field, has many ecological problems. The rainforest has been all but obliterated in this region and environmental degradation is severe, with catastrophic oil pollution in some areas. On February 14 2011, a judge in Lago Agrio ruled that Chevron, now owner of Texaco, had to pay $9 billion in environmental damages for polluting the rainforest, in an unprecedented environmental ruling. Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia was born in Nueva Loja.