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Tullow’s tax disclosures torpedo Big Oil’s campaign for secrecy

Tullow Oil from Ghana to Uganda. Photo by Christiane Badgley

Tullow Oil, Ghana. Photo by Christiane Badgley

From Global Witness:

UK oil company becomes the world’s first extractive firm to publish revenue payments to governments by project

March 24, 2014

The UK company Tullow Oil today became the world’s first extractive firm to publish details of its revenue payments to governments broken down by each project the company operates worldwide. The disclosures, released today in Tullow’s annual report, show the taxes, royalties, licence fees and other public revenues generated by the company’s operations across 21 countries – 14 of which are in sub-Saharan Africa – for the years 2012 and 2013.

Tullow’s voluntary disclosures are being released in advance of a new EU law, due to come into force in the UK in 2015, that will require EU oil, mining and logging companies to publish their payments to governments on a project-by-project basis. These detailed disclosures will enable citizens in economically poor but resource-rich regions to monitor public revenues worth hundreds of billions of dollars and hold governments to account for how the money is used.

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Better late than never: Cameroon renegotiates pipeline transit fees

pipeline_cornfield

After ten years of operations, Cameroon has finally managed to renegotiate the paltry transit fees it collects on the Chad-Cameroon pipeline.

Cameroon will now receive 618.02 CFA francs ($1.30) per barrel of oil, up from 194.91 CFA francs. Since 2003 Cameroon was collecting less than U.S. 45 cents per barrel, a rate that was not linked to inflation or to the price of oil. Nor was the rate subject to regular review. Even the current rate, $1.30 per barrel, is low, but it will at least be raised every five years based on the rate of inflation.

The quantity of oil coming down the pipeline will soon increase as Niger has signed an agreement to use the pipeline. China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the operator in Niger, will also use the pipeline for its Chadian operations. Exxon Mobil has not disclosed how much CNPC will pay to use the pipeline.

Read more:

Pipeline Tchad-Cameroun: Le droit de passage passe de 194 FCFA à 618 FCFA par baril

Niger awards second oil permit to CNPC, plans exports

 

What will it take for Ghana to investigate the surge in whale deaths?

more dead whales

Photo: Friends of the Nation

An unusual number of dead marine mammals have been washing ashore in Western Ghana since 2009. Friends of the Nation and other local groups have reported the beached whales to the government and the local EPA office. The government has not investigated and the cause of the deaths remains a mystery. Locals point out that dead whales started appearing in 2009, coinciding with offshore drilling. Many suspect a connection between the whale deaths and Ghana’s oil industry, but without any studies people can only speculate.

Two years ago I wrote about Ghana’s oil industry for the Center for Public Integrity and included information on whale deaths:

Dead whales

In Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana’s “Oil City,” activists from Friends of the Nation work with the communities closest to offshore drilling operations. In two years of monitoring on behalf of local residents, the group’s Kyei Yamoah, has noted an increase in whale deaths. “A whale washed ashore in October, bringing the total number of dead whales on our beaches since late 2009 to eight,” Yamoah said.

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    Oil...A Pipeline to Prosperity?

    Oil…A Pipeline to Prosperity?

    I have produced a short film for PBS/Frontline World to mark the 10th anniversary of World Bank engagement in the Chad-Cameroon Oil Development and Pipeline Project. The film, “Cameroon: Pipeline to Prosperity?” revisits the story of the “model” oil for development project. Ten years ago the oil companies and the World Bank promised that this project would break the resource curse and prove to the world that oil could be a force for good…

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