Posts Tagged ‘EITI’

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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Two steps forward, one step back

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) adopted new standards intended to increase transparency in the oil, gas and mining industries. The new rules were announced in Sydney ahead of the EITI board meeting. Ironically, several of the major oil companies who sit on the EITI board are part of a U.S. lawsuit that seeks to weaken transparency legislation in the U.S. Inter Press Service describes the “disconnect”:

On the one hand, several of the world’s largest oil companies – including ExxonMobil, Shell and Chevron – sit on the EITI board and are thus inferred to be in agreement with the newly revised transparency rules.

On the other hand, these companies are currently part of a lawsuit here attempting to dismantle Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the legislation on which the new EITI standards are mostly closely based.

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2010 A New Year

Rainforest Flower. Photo by Christiane Badgley

Early Morning at the Port of Kribi. Photo by Christiane Badgley

Bandevouri Home Decor. Photo by Christiane Badgley

Bume Kitchen. Photo by Christiane Badgley

Roadside Orchid Campo. Photo by Christiane Badgley

Eating Fruit in Ngovayang. Photo by Christiane Badgley

Shrimp Baskets Kribi. Photo by Christiane Badgley

Fragile existence. This is the story of life along the pipeline.  Whatever happens to the global economy, the price of the barrel or ExxonMobil’s profits in 2010, life here will remain difficult. But the oil won’t stop flowing any time soon and as long as the pipeline is operational, there are opportunities for progress.

Peoples’ voices will be heard, their stories shared. Increased awareness, increased transparency, pressure from stockholders – these are all real possibilities that can lead to change. Oxfam has been actively involved in efforts to promote transparency in the extractive industries, for example, and recently launched a “Follow the Money” campaign. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is moving forward.

Of course any change on the ground will be minimal at best, but let’s all work to make 2010 a year with a bit more social and environmental justice where it’s needed most.

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