RWI Report Urges Countries to Make Transit Revenues Transparent

At the 29 September Istanbul conference on the proposed trans-Anatolian gas pipeline.
Country: Eurasia
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In a new report on oil and gas transit revenues in four Black Sea and Balkan countries, Revenue Watch found there to be little or no publicly available data on transit tariffs and state transit revenues in Bulgaria, Georgia, Ukraine and Turkey, and urged governments to make the information public.

RWI recommended that the national governments and private companies active in oil and gas transit regularly publish tariff structures, the volumes of transited oil and gas, state revenues from transit operations and other payments to authorities.

If the countries applied the basic principles of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to transit revenues, the report concluded, "then all budget revenue streams from territorial oil and gas transit will be disclosed to the public."

"By implementing ‘EITI Transit,’ host countries will create the foundation of an investor-friendly and competitive national energy market and establish the country as important junction of energy transit and connecting routes," the report said.

Released 29 September in Istanbul during a conference on the proposed trans-Anatolian gas pipeline, the report compares tariff schemes and related government revenues in the four countries. The report is a joint project of RWI and the Open Society Georgia Foundation.

"We believe the principles of EITI, including the involvement of civil society as well as governments and companies, are realistic, practical transparency standards for parties involved in oil and gas transit," said Emil Omarov, Eurasia program associate at Revenue Watch. "Europe needs energy imports, and it is in Europe’s interest, and the interest of European consumers, to promote higher transparency standards for new pipeline projects."

Research for the report was also conducted by the Center for the Study of Democracy (Bulgaria), NOMOS (Ukraine), and independent researcher Ȫykȕ Uluçay (Turkey).

Emil Omarov is RWI Eurasia Regional Associate.