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 oilextraction. 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.