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Friday, 20 March 2009

Anti-corruption group rates international oil companies’


LONDON: An anti-corruption group has rated more than 40 energy companies on the transparency of their dealings, handing a low grade to ExxonMobil but praising Shell and Petrobras.

The Transparency International report published Monday places 42 oil and gas companies into three tiers based on their level of transparency in revenue disclosure.

The group used publicly available records to measure companies’ payments to host governments, their operations and contributions to corporate anti-corruption programs.

Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Brazil’s Petrobras, Norway’s StatoilHydro ASA and Petro-Canada were among the best performing companies. U.S.-based ExxonMobil Corp., Russia’s OAO Lukoil and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation — or CNOOC — fell into the lowest tier.

Companies were placed in the lowest tier for disclosing information only by geographical segments and providing almost no additional information.

“Information is crucial, it’s fundamental for civil societies to request information on where the revenue from energy extraction is going to and coming from,” said Juanita Olaya, who manages the program that came up with the report.

“They need to disclose more on payments,” Olaya said of ExxonMobil. She said the company was “taking important steps” in its anti-corruption program, but needed to do more.

ExxonMobil said it disagreed with the methodology of the report, and joined other members of the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers in expressing reservations over the data sought by Transparency.

“Much of this was proprietary and irrelevant to the issue of transparency,” the association said in a statement.

BP PLC, Chevron Corp., Conoco-Philips, Eni SpA and Total SA were in the middle tier of companies that disclose revenue by geographic region and could improve by giving a country-by-country breakdown.

Companies placed in the highest tier disclose payments systematically on a country-by-country basis or in a few select countries and go beyond the mandatory reporting regulations.

“These top performers, which include some of the world’s largest corporations, can act as role models for the industry as a whole,” the report said. “The high level of transparency demonstrated by these companies proves that secrecy is both morally and commercially indefensible.”

Transparency International said the report aimed to help fight the so-called “resource curse” — oil can generate great wealth for a country, but if poorly managed can also discourage the development other areas of the economy, spur corruption and trigger conflict.

The report said that if 10 percent of the estimated US$866 billion generated worldwide in oil revenues in 2006 was set aside, it would have been enough to cover the total cost of meeting the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. The cost of meeting the set of development standards on education, health, literacy and poverty was estimated at US$73 billion in 2006, the report said.

Today Corruption News

AFP says “Africa’s longest serving head of state, 72-year-old Omar Bongo has ruled his oil-rich but socially impoverished former French colony since 1967 (42 yrs) and has been a close associate of a string of French leaders” who encourage African leaders to be corrupt. AFP says “In recent years Omar Bongo’s often murky economic ties with France and French figures have complicated his relations with Paris and have become the subject of a legal challenge by anti-corruption activists. A French police investigation has reportedly established that Bongo and his family own at least 33 luxury properties in France, including a villa in Paris bought in 2007 for 18.8 million euros”.  Did you hear that 33 luxury properties for one man and his family and his people are very impoverished too. In February 2009, Foreign Minister of France Bernard Kouchner was embarrassed when it was revealed that Bongo’s government paid consultancy firms 2.64 million euros for advice on health policy drawn up by Kouchner before he took office.
Africans are poor because their corrupt and good for nothing leaders have teamed up with their greedy and equally corrupt western politicians and their banking institutions to defraud Africa.

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