Blog

Interviews, background on NRGI research and training events and up-to-the-minute analysis by staff and experts from around the world.

Eighty percent of resource-rich countries fall short in channeling extractives wealth into citizen benefit, according to the 2013 Resource Governance Index (RGI), which measures countries’ governance, including regulation, transparency and accountability across the resource sector.

NRGI has made a submission to the US SEC in relation to the rulemaking for Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

In a recent blog post for the Brookings Institution, NRGI president Daniel Kaufmann writes about the current “governance moment.” He draws on developments at the UN General Assembly and elsewhere, as well as the release of a new edition of the Worldwide Governance Indicators, to make the point that governance is measurable, and that the resulting data is a critical tool in country-level and global efforts to improve.

The State Oil Fund of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOFAZ) was created in 1999 to promote macroeconomic stability, preserve oil revenues for future generations and channel Azerbaijan’s resource wealth into more productive assets...

Parliamentarians have a crucial role to play in reviewing legislation on oil, gas and minerals, and in overseeing the government’s management of these extractive sectors. For instance, in Ghana members of parliament are actively overseeing the projections and allocations of oil revenues by scrutinizing compliance with the Petroleum Revenue Management Act...

In a detailed submission to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), economist Robert Conrad of Duke University recently shared his expert perspective on the critical importance of oil, gas and mining companies publicly reporting project-level payments to governments around the world.

Citizens from resource-rich African countries are showing ever-greater interest in the management of extractive resources. Civil society members and journalists are demanding transparency and accountability.

This week, 29 participants from 13 countries — including Ghana, Chile, Uganda, Myanmar, Mongolia and Guinea — are taking part in our third annual Executive Course in Oil, Gas and Mining Governance in Oxford.

Francisco Paris, the EITI international secretariat’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, attended the EITI Latin America Regional Conference in Lima, where government, civil society and corporate representatives met to discuss pressing socio-environmental concerns in the region...

Poor governance and systemic corruption are prevalent in many resource-rich countries. Given their highly concentrated and highly profitable nature, the oil, gas and mining industries can generate the kind of political and private incentives that favor rent-seeking and institutional (or state) capture.

For the first time since it won in 1990, the National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Aung San Suu Kyi, will be contesting a general election. (The NLD won 43 out of 45 seats in a 2012 by-election.) Should the party or a coalition of opposition parties win, Myanmar will have its first majority civilian government in Myanmar in 53 years.

Lack of transparency about complex, often secretive structures. Clandestine, opaque relationships with government officials. These factors exacerbate the risks that beneficial owners of some extractive companies could easily engage in tax evasion, transfer pricing, trade mispricing, bribery, contract fraud and money laundering.

When we think about the “resource curse,” one oft-cited example is oil-rich Venezuela. Despite copious petroleum reserves, people in one of Latin America's top hydrocarbon producers queue for hours outside supermarkets to buy staple foods, and now cite food shortages as a bigger concern than crime.

During the oil boom years earlier this decade, rising petroleum subsidies in importing countries such as Tunisia and Egypt were a constant strain on budgets—and so the collapse in oil prices has produced nuanced challenges for state-owned oil enterprises (SOEs) in both countries.

For Indonesia, lower commodity prices have had mixed results. Government revenues from oil, natural gas coal and other minerals have fallen, but lower prices have also helped the Southeast Asian net importer.

On Thursday, 3 September, NRGI president Daniel Kaufmann joined a plenary conversation on the role of anti-corruption and transparency in the fight against poverty.

Crystol Energy founder Dr. Carole Nakhle discusses the changing contractual and fiscal environment for producer countries – particularly in the MENA region – amid a lengthy oil slump.

Nigeria's President recently announced that former ExxonMobil executive Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu will head the national oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Eight top NNPC officials were sacked, and the head of crude oil marketing was “reassigned.” A list of fresh appointments soon followed.

In June NRGI’s regional office in Eurasia brought together more than 25 multi-stakeholder group (MSG) members from five countries for a collaborative training session on analysis of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) report data. The training took into account a number of EITI reports expected by the end of year.

Less than five years after the surge of optimism that accompanied first oil, Ghana’s economic situation has rapidly worsened. Ghana is now often cited as a cautionary tale of how not to manage public finances.

Extractive industry governance and the role of state-owned enterprises across sub-Saharan Africa are squarely in the spotlight after three huge scandals.

Myanmar’s citizens have the potential to benefit from the country’s endowments of oil, gas, and gems, but governance of these industries has been historically problematic and so many actors are pushing for change. Last month, NRGI staff began working with EITI stakeholders in Myanmar on a new project that will use the Natural Resource Charter to help build consensus on priorities for extractive industries reform.

During a June parliamentary hearing, Tunisia’s minister of industry, energy and mines shared previously undisclosed details regarding Tunisia’s resource sectors. He provided production, foreign investment and revenues figures. He announced the imminent launch of an open data platform that would give citizens access to updated extractives industry intelligence...

One of the principal aims of the NRGI research and data team is to encourage and facilitate the use of data to promote accountability and transparency. To that end, the team is developing a suite of data tools to collect, analyze and present publicly available data in a user-friendly manner...

Another year goes by and the elation we felt is like a distant memory. Five years ago today, on 21 July 2010, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Act into law, and all those who support a genuinely open natural resource sector hailed an important provision contained in the huge financial reform bill.