News / Africa

New Standards Approved for Extractive Industries

Pipelines criss-cross at the Paloch oil field in South Sudan on Sunday, May 5, 2013.
Pipelines criss-cross at the Paloch oil field in South Sudan on Sunday, May 5, 2013.

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Joe DeCapua

New performance standards have been announced (5/23) for oil, gas and mining companies, requiring them to be much more transparent in their business dealings.


The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative approved the new performance standards at a meeting in Sydney, Australia. Created in 2003, the initiative includes government, business and civil society representatives.

Among those supporting the tougher standards is Alexandra Gilles, head of governance at the Revenue Watch Institute, which monitors extraction industries.

She said, “Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, or EITI, is a voluntary standard of disclosure in the oil, mining and gas sectors. The countries sign-up to the EITI and in doing so agree to release certain kinds of information about their extractive sectors.”

Up until now, the initiative simply required the release of revenue data.

“So the governments had to disclose how much money they received from oil, gas and mining companies and the companies had to disclose how much they paid to the governments. And then those two sets of figures were reconciled by an independent auditor. So, it was a really important step forward in terms of advancing transparency and knowing how much money enters into these governments, she said.

But Gilles said that wasn’t enough to ensure complete transparency.

“As we know, the oil, gas and mining industries are very complicated and involve a whole series of decisions that have to be made in order for countries to really benefit from these resources.”

Under the new standards companies will release information on production volumes, corporate social responsibility payments and money transfers from national to local governments. They also call for countries to disclose all the licenses they’ve awarded.

“This sounds really basic,” she said, “but in a number of countries, such as Kazakhstan and Mozambique, we don’t even know which companies hold licenses.” 

She said that in the past, the EITI did a poor job of monitoring national oil companies. She describes them as the dominant players in such countries as Iraq and Nigeria.

“In resource rich countries, there are over one billion people living on less than five dollars a day. So, there’s this huge development challenge to turn oil, gas and mine resources into development outcomes in order to reduce poverty and increase economic growth. Now that only happens if these resources are managed properly,”

Nearly 40 countries, including the United States, are part of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. For some, there’ll be about a year-long transition period to meet all the new requirements.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid