Financial Times Covers RWI Oil Sales Research

Today's Financial Times focused attention on pioneering research by RWI on oil sales by state-owned oil companies, sales that account in some cases for more than two-thirds of a government's income but have not been subject to public scrutiny.

EITI – the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative – is beginning conversations about whether to include transactions between traders and governments in the public reports that companies and governments release.

"The discussions could have significant implications for the publicity-shy Swiss-based commodities trading industry, including top companies Vitol, Glencore, Trafigura, Mercuria and Gunvor," the FT  said in an article headlined, "Oil traders face heat over greater disclosure."

"It would also affect oil companies such as London-listed BP and Royal Dutch Shell and Total of France, which have large trading arms," the paper said.

As parts of its research, RWI studied how 11 countries sell their state-owned oil. RWI goes on to identify good sale practices, and explain how oil sales and global oil prices work – and recommend clear steps for bringing greater transparency to a hitherto little known sector of the oil business to advance the public interest.

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Robert Ruby is RWI head of communications.

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