Recent Articles

The large fall in the price of oil since mid-2014 is on the whole good news for Tanzania, which is a net importer of oil. Indeed, Tanzanian stocks are around 40 percent higher than when oil prices began falling from a peak of $115 a barrel on June 19 last year...

While headlines still narrate a woeful tale of conflict in oil-rich Libya, many actors are hard at work planning for the country’s future, once peace prevails.

NRGI president and CEO Daniel Kaufmann, who co-produces the Worldwide Governance Indicators published by the World Bank, discussed his recent article “Corruption Matters” with the IMF’s Bruce Edwards. Published in September in Finance & Development, the piece discusses the larger themes of governance and corruption in Latin America and elsewhere.

Confronting corruption in Latin America--one of the great development challenges the region faces--means understanding the shape it takes in respective nations. NRGI has addressed the topic extensively in the last months.

Earlier this year, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed the Public Finance Management Act 2015 into law and created one of the world's newest sovereign wealth funds. While the law provides a solid framework for effective governance, several key elements are missing—elements that would determine whether Uganda will truly benefit from its oil windfalls.

The UK and Norway oil and gas sectors provide an ideal comparison through which to compare the outcomes from different approaches to oil sector governance. The two countries have equivalent geology and a similar resource base – the North Sea Basin is effectively split down the middle between them.

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...

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.

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.

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.

Bad practices have kept the West African nation from operating competitively and transparently in oil and gas. Important regulatory agencies including the NNPC are considered weak and unaccountable. The newly elected government has some heavy lifting to do to enact real change.

In 2014 NRGI’s MENA Regional Knowledge Hub (a partnership with the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies [LCPS]) offered its first foundation course on natural resource governance to civil society actors and members of the media from Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Tunisia. In this course, participants strengthen their understanding of the oil and gas sectors and develop skills to engage in effective policy advocacy or reporting.

Headlines about resource-rich economies faltering under crashing commodity price pressures fill the news. "Venezuela in a bind as Nicolas Maduro faces default dilemma" warns the Financial Times. "Alberta premier considers sales tax to fix ailing, oil-based economy" says the Canadian Press. "Iran says it can no longer afford Ahmadinejad's cash handouts" reports the Guardian...

Uganda's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (PEPD) recently extended the deadline for firms to submit bids in its first-ever round of licensing for six oil blocks in the Albertine Graben...

The price of oil, the commodity that more than any other determines the fortunes of Nigeria, has fallen over 50 percent since June 2014. The country’s 37 billion barrels of oil reserves are now significantly less valuable than before...

The Nigerian government has released a PriceWaterhouseCoopers audit report about the financial flows between the national oil company and the country's treasury. The document joins a long list of reports that reach a common conclusion: the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation is broken, and requires urgent overhaul.

In the latter part of 2014 global oil prices fell at one of the most rapid paces in history. In Ghana this exposed a precarious fiscal situation that has undermined the high ambitions expressed by Ghanaians just a few years ago. Countries like Uganda and Tanzania that are currently shaping policies and laws to manage “resource curse” pressures can surely learn from Ghana’s troubling experience.

NRGI president Daniel Kaufmann recently visited Indonesia, where he met with editors from Tempo magazine. What follows is a reproduction of the resulting news story, “Good Governance Means the Rule of Law, Not the Rule of Man Prevails,” posted here with Tempo’s permission.

The dramatic fall in the value of oil and other commodities over the past six months has impacted both governments and communities in resource-rich countries, and has sent many searching for lessons learned during previous periods of price crashes.