Recent Articles

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Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In the February 15 issue, Latin American countries change their mining legal frameworks, Peru considers a windfall profits tax, and rising international petroleum prices impact Latin America.
Iraqi civil society members concluded an RWI capacity building workshop with the decision to form a coalition of NGOs working for oil, gas and mining transparency.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In the January issue, Ecuador’s government culminates contract renegotiation with oil companies; Colombia and Venezuela expect to increase hydrocarbons production; and windfall profit taxes become an issue in Peru’s electoral campaign.
On January 12, the World Bank Group published a report detailing its extractive industries work over the past year and outlining the Bank's goals for the sector and its plans to support sustainable resource development. The report offers encouraging signs of progress for the transparency movement and for efforts by Revenue Watch and its allies in the U.S. and internationally.
Illegal oil bunkering, or the theft of crude oil, is a persistent and costly problem in Nigeria, and has grown over decades into a thriving underground economy. In a brief released this October, Revenue Watch Nigeria Program Coordinator Dauda Garuba studies the prominence of illegal oil bunkering in Nigeria in light of the economic crisis the country faced during the 1980s, and the unsuccessful reforms that followed.
Integrity Watch Afghanistan founder Lorenzo Delesgues spoke at OSI about citizens' social accountability efforts.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In the November issue, Ecuador completes its oil contract renegotiations; PEMEX allows private exploration and production; and Peru seeks to amend hydroelectric concession process in the Amazon.
On October 14, more than a dozen journalists from Cameroon and other countries met with the Revenue Watch Institute and Transparency International in Yaoundé to discuss the findings of the Revenue Watch Index, the first comparative measure of government disclosure about the oil, gas and mining industries in 41 resource-rich countries.
In October RWI and Transparency International launched a pioneering measurement of government disclosure in the management of oil, gas, and minerals. Together with the International Budget Partnership's Open Budget Survey 2010, the Revenue Watch Index offers a complementary overview of transparency levels across countries.
In September 2010, economist Edwin Truman published a book on Sovereign Wealth Funds—the range of reserve funds often used by resource rich countries investing revenues internationally. Sovereign Wealth Funds: Threat or Salvation, assesses some of the regulatory concerns and international tensions over these funds. Truman says SWFs have "matured under the glare of international attention." He talked with Revenue Watch about his research.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In the October issue, Peru-Petro offers blocks for oil and gas exploration and Bolivia's government postpones the release of a critical new report on national gas reserves.
In June, the World Bank published Demanding Good Governance: Lessons from Social Accountability Initiatives in Africa—a collection of case studies from across the continent that showcases citizen campaigns to enhance government accountability and transparency. Revenue Watch's Dauda Garuba and co-author John G. Ikubaje contributed a chapter, "The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Publish What You Pay Nigeria," highlighting a lesson in government and civil society cooperation.
The Open Budget Survey 2010, released today in Washington, D.C., reveals that 74 of the 94 countries assessed do not meet basic standards of transparency with their national budgets. The report is produced every two years based on an independent comparison of budget transparency and accountability around the world. The new survey finds that just seven of the 94 countries release extensive budget information, and 40 countries release no meaningful budget information.
The Revenue Watch Index is a pioneering measurement of government disclosure in the management of oil, gas and minerals, ranking transparency in 41 countries among the world's top producers of petroleum, gold, copper and diamonds. The index is an assessment and comparison of information published by governments about revenues, contract terms and other key data. It is an important tool for elected officials, policy makers, civil society and media seeking increased public disclosure about natural resource management, and greater government accountability.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In the September issue, Brazil's PETROBRAS raises US $70 billion in the world's largest share offering and Colombia's Congress discusses a bill that would modify royalty distribution.
Opportunities for the disclosure of contracts in the extractive sector of Kazakhstan were the focus of an international conference, "Extractive Industry Contracts Disclosure: Making Development Sustainable," attended by prominent Kazakh lawyers and leading experts in the development of model mining development agreements. The event, which also marked the Russian- and Kazakh-language launch of RWI's 2009 report Contracts Confidential, was jointly organized by the Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan, the Revenue Watch Institute and the International Bar Association.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In issue August 31, Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago sign a gas pact; Bolivian President Evo Morales modifies the iron territory granted to Jindal Steel; and Brazil weighs reducing its gas imports from Bolivia.
When companies sell their oil and gas assets before production has even begun, they may turn a profit long before the host country can collect the tax revenues typically associated with production. The prospect of an immediate upside for industry with uncertain or delayed benefits for countries has sparked a debate over capital gains taxes on pre-production sales. Analyst and RWI advisor Keith Myers reviews current controversies in Uganda and Ghana, using these emerging oil nations to make the case for clearer extractive sector taxation rules.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In issue August 15, a Bolivian gas find may increase exports to Argentina; Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA presents its annual financial report; and Chile's lithium framework is challenged.
A year after Peru witnessed deadly conflicts over hydrocarbon exploitation in the Amazon, the nation's Congress has passed a law clarifying the right of indigenous peoples to advance consultation concerning extractive industry activities on their lands. Claudia Viale and Felipe Bedoya of RWI's Latin America office explore the issue.
A U.S. audit that found the U.S. Department of Defense unable to account properly for 96 percent of $9.1 billion in Iraqi funds from the sale of Iraq's oil underscores the need for Iraq's new government to adopt strong, transparent controls on oil revenues and spending if the country's oil industry is to fuel economic development rather than conflict.
Carlos Monge, RWI Latin America Regional Coordinator, and colleagues deliver fresh news and insight. In issue July 15, Peru considers a windfall profit tax; Chile seeks royalty increases to help earthquake-damaged regions; and Colombia's oil production approaches one million barrels per day.
This May, the government of Uganda circulated a draft Petroleum Bill for the management of the country's emerging oil sector. In a new analysis of the bill from the Revenue Watch Institute, Professor Robert. D. Langenkamp concludes that, despite several positive attributes, the new bill leaves many questions unanswered and many problems unaddressed.
To promote sustainable economic development, the government of Nigeria is considering the creation of a Sovereign Wealth Fund, a savings tool that could protect against oil price volatility. But, according to a new RWI analysis, Nigeria risks repeating patterns of weak economic governance and volatile spending unless its new Fund features certain safeguards. Read more and download the full briefing paper.