Oil giant Unocal Corp. has reached a preliminary agreement to settle lawsuits concerning human rights violations committed during the construction of a Myanmar pipeline in the 1990s.

The lawsuits sought to hold El Segundo-based Unocal liable for the alleged enslavement and murder of villagers by soldiers during construction of the natural gas pipeline in Myanmar. Unocal said it didn't authorize the actions of the military and doesn't condone the atrocities.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Shares of Unocal were up 93 cents to $43.40, a gain of 2.19 percent, by close of trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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