Recent Articles

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.
Revenue Watch was heartened by President Obama's strong praise for open government in his address to the UN General Assembly. Obama also welcomed new U.S. requirements for company reporting of extractive industry payments, during comments to the Millennium Development Goals Summit.
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.
In a recent CNN interview, Antoine Heuty of RWI and Ashraf Haidari of the Embassy of Afghanistan discusssed the prospects for improved development and for increased conflict and corruption in Afghanistan, where vast untapped mineral riches have recently sparked international attention and calls for good governance of the war-torn countries mineral sector.
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.
In a letter to Revenue Watch Director Karin Lissakers, U.S. Senator Richard Lugar notes RWI's exceptional efforts in securing the new extractive industry reporting requirements for all U.S. and foreign companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Revenue Watch Director Karin Lissakers responds to a recent Wall Street Journal article on the new energy sector reporting rules in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, calling on oil companies to demonstrate their commitment to a more level competitive field by supporting global standards for better disclosure practices.
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 new U.S. initiative against corruption by senior foreign officials marks a major step forward in protecting natural resource revenues and safeguarding the interests of citizens in resource-rich countries, the Revenue Watch Institute said today.
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.
Among the financial reforms approved by Congress in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is a measure that requires all companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to report the amounts they pay to governments for access to oil, gas and minerals. The law gives investors and citizens new tools to hold companies and governments accountable.
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.
The Wall Street reforms passed by Congress include historic transparency rule changes for the oil and mining industry, giving investors and citizens new tools to hold companies and governments accountable for their actions. Revenue Watch Director Karin Lissakers called the victory "the culmination of a long campaign by Revenue Watch and the Publish What You Pay coalition to make extractive industry activities truly transparent, in the U.S. and abroad."
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.

 

RWI's Latin America team delivers fresh news and insight. In issue June 30, Ecuador faces the long road to hydrocarbon contract renegotiation; Bolivia and Brazil increase investment to raise oil production; and Peru's rivers suffer from oil and mining pollution.
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.
Despite an ongoing military conflict, Afghanistan has worked since 2009 to build a mining sector that can provide sustainable wealth, passing a new hydrocarbons law and committing to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. With the discovery of new mineral deposits worth an estimated one trillion dollars, the stakes for creating sound and accountable minerals management just got higher. Karin Lissakers describes steps that Afghan leaders can take to make the promised windfall a tool for national stability.
On the tenth anniversary of the Chad-Cameroon pipeline project, filmmaker Christiane Badgley reports from the beach town of Kribi, a Cameroonian city that stood to benefit from the pipeline project. Seven years after oil began flowing, Badgely says the town seems "untouched by any new oil wealth." (FRONTLINE/WORLD)
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.
Development is underway for a new International Financial Reporting Standard that could make oil, gas and mining companies publish what they pay to governments for country in which they operate. Learn how you can take action to help secure important reporting reforms this June and July.
A new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) surveys the contributions made by mining companies to public finances, offering details on various forms of taxes and contributions, and suggestions for how companies could benefit from increased transparency in reporting their tax affairs.
On Friday, May 21, RWI partners including EG Justice and Global Witness present a discussion in Washington, D.C. on Equatorial Guinea's oil sector and the gaps in existing transparency efforts. The distinguished international panel will explore why U.S. government action is critical to addressing corruption and improving the lives of the citizens of Equatorial Guinea.