Recent Articles

Recently, Open Society Institute - Azerbaijan, held a journalistic competition for investigative reports about issues of public finance—a critical area of concern for transparency activists. Three of the award-winning stories are now available in English, covering topics including regional access to water, the challenges to vocational training, and food safety.
Last week, more improprieties surfaced at the scandal-plagued Minerals Management Service, where oil companies had been allowed unethical influence over regulatory activities in Louisiana. The planned reorganization of the troubled MMS is only a half-step towards true reform though. Revenue Watch Director Karin Lissakers writes that the ongoing situation makes it clear that transparency of key public data, which makes it far harder to hide regulatory or industry misdeeds, is critical to accountable government.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In issue May 30, the debate about exporting natural gas continues in Peru; the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico holds consequences for Latin America; and Peru and Bolivia face the implications of rising international gold price.
In late March, Oil & Gas Journal editor Bob Tippee spoke to a gathering of the Gas Processors Association (GPA) on the necessity of renewing a once-vibrant corporate conversation on the concept of the extractive industry's "license to operate." In an eloquent call to action, Tippee noted the important role that the Revenue Watch Institute has played in maintaining an emphasis on transparency in extractive industry contracting. Praising the insights of recent RWI report Contracts Confidential, Tippee exhorted GPA members to open their contracts up for public oversight, and transform them from objects of secrecy into vehicles for building trust.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In issue April 30, the Tía María mining project sparks a debate about the use of water and territory; the Bolivian government collects warranty payments from Jindal Steel; debates are underway on the distribution of royalties from Pre-sal in Brazil; Ecuador's President Rafael Correa pushes for new contracts; and more.
On Sunday, April 25, the Revenue Watch Institute presented a dynamic policy discussion on lessons learned from the global financial crisis and the steps that local and international actors can take to insulate resource rich economies from future shocks and ensure the long-term benefits of extractive activity. 
Revenue Watch joins Amnesty International in calling for an immediate investigation into the illegal assault and detention of three Nigerian civil society activists by police on April 5. Three activists from the nonprofit group Social Action, which promotes citizen participation in the management of resource extraction, trade and investment that affect human rights, democracy and livelihoods, were violently stopped and arrested without explanation by police as they left their office.
On February 18, Stanford University's Mark Thurber delivered a research paper co-written with Revenue Watch Legal Analyst Patrick Heller and David Hults, also of Stanford University, to the 2010 International Studies Association Conference. The paper, "The Limits of Institutional Design in Oil Sector Governance: Exporting the Norwegian Model," published by Stanford's Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, studied eight resource-rich countries to explore the obstacles to exporting Norway's lauded model of resource management to other nations.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In issue March 9, Argentina and Bolivia revisit their gas supply contract; Chile's earthquake impacts the mining and energy sectors; and oil and gas production trends shift in Colombia and Venezuela.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. Issue February 22 covers tension between Argentina and Britain over oil exploration off the Falkland Islands; production problems in Ecuador's and Mexico's state-owned oil companies; and Chilean interest in Bolivian gas industrialization.
On February 2, the Revenue Watch Institute launched its new online Resource Center: an interactive database of research, training and policy documents and videos concerning transparency and the management of natural resource wealth. This tool, which compiles a comprehensive selection of research materials from around the world in multiple languages, represents a cross-section of expertise, analysis and good practice.
New York—With the formal addition of Afghanistan to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative this week, leaders and citizens gained a new tool in the struggle for regional stability, and the embattled country signaled a commitment to sound natural resource management and increased public accountability.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. Issue February 3 covers new capital for Chile's Codelco; possible lithium investments in Bolivia, Chile and Argentina; and new oil projects in Venezuela's Orinoco Belt.

The Revenue Watch Institute is excited to announce the formal launch of its online Resource Center, a tool for knowledge-sharing and transparency advocacy.

Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. Issue January 19 covers rising fuel prices in Peru; Ecuador's broadening activity in the extractive sector; and Argentina's efforts to reach an agreement to increase gas imports from Bolivia.
The Revenue Watch Institute today congratulated the Government of Iraq as it formally announced that it would join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), taking a historic step toward the efficient and open management of its oil industry.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. Issue December 20 covers collective agreement negotiations in Chile and Venezuela; Colombia's move to position itself as a major player in the hydrocarbon sector; Brazilian state and municipal negotiations of Pre-sal revenue distribution; and possible sales of Ecopetrol shares to cover large-scale infrastructure investments in Colombia.
As Chinese companies build up their extractive activities in Africa, many are finding that the greatest challenge to operational success is weak or unreliable governance in the natural resource sector. In a new report co-funded by Revenue Watch and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, researchers at Stellenbosch University found that, though Chinese company officials were largely unfamiliar with transparency efforts like the EITI, most are interested in initiatives that hold the promise of an improved operating environment. 
On November 11, the Revenue Watch Institute hosted journalist Peter Maass, author of the new book Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil, for an afternoon conversation with RWI Director Karin Lissakers. Crude World is a reporter's foray into many of the countries that have come to represent the so-called "resource curse," such as Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan—countries where the discovery of mineral and hydrocarbon reserves has resulted not in greater prosperity, but rather in increased corruption, poverty and environmental degradation.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. Issue November 10 covers state-owned oil companies and the oil price recovery; new natural gas reserves found in the Camisea area of Peru; and shortages and new trade relations for natural gas in Latin America.
Nigeria's National Assembly is currently reviewing a sweeping Petroleum Industry Bill, which would dramatically restructure the management of the country's oil industry in an effort to improve management, reduce corruption, and promote long-term development.
On September 23, as a bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced legislation to broaden disclosure of international extractive industry payments, more than 200 activists, policymakers, industry representatives and government officials gathered for a conference that may herald a new stage in the global movement for natural resource transparency and accountability. The event marked the release of Revenue Watch's report Contracts Confidential: Ending Secret Deals in the Extractive Industries, which challenges most of the common objections to openness in extractive industry contracts.
On November 11, at 12:30 pm, the Revenue Watch Institute hosted a lunchtime discussion at the Open Society Institute with author Peter Maass about his new book, Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil (Knopf, 2009). In Crude World, Maass examines "oil's indelible impact on the countries that produce it and the people who possess it," bringing stories of the so-called "resource curse" that transparency advocates have long discussed to a broader public. In
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. Issue October 9 covers a Peruvian community's rejection of mining activities; a move to unsubsidized energy bills in Argentina; and setbacks in the implementation of the Mutún mining project in Bolivia.
Away from the political controversies over international policy and mismanagement of extractive revenues, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) plays a quiet but pivotal role in steering the transparency of the energy industry. This is the body that determines what a company has to disclose in its annual financial statements.