Scraping the Barrel… 8 August 2012

Today’s barrel scrapes include: the Colombian government’s attempts to clean up the mining industry despite opposition from, well, everybody; how Kurdish statehood should not be taken as a given following their new oil profits; and we highlight model contracts and mining regulations made available online from the Extractive Industries Sourcebook project. More below…

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Scraping the Barrel… 7 August 2012

As today’s barrel scrapings reveal: Joseph Stiglitz ponders how to make a blessing out of a resource curse, a Twitter vigilante gets a nervous oil market to jump, and the two Sudans make (tentative) progress on their oil dispute. Below the fold for more…

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Scraping the Barrel… 6 August 2012

Today’s barrel scrapings include: Nigeria continues its struggle with illegal refineries costing them over $1 billion a month, letters published by the KRG gives us a sneak peek into how they are wooing Big Oil, and what obstacles lay before Israel in exporting the bounty of the East Med natural gas bonanza? See below for more…

Scraping the Barrel… 3 August 2012

Today’s barrel scrapings include: how it’s okay to be a successful private investor in China as long as you’re not too successful, that some Canadians are looking enviously towards Norway for lessons on how to deal with their petroleum wealth, and a blast from the past via a 1956 American Petroleum Institute propaganda cartoon . more »

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Scraping the Barrel… 1 August 2012

As today’s barrel scrapings reveal: there’s more to the Indian power outages than the government would have you believe, oil companies carve out a new country in Iraq, and natural gas gluts the energy market. See below the fold for more…

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Scraping the Barrel… 31 July 2012

In today’s roundup we look at whether ‘independent academic reports’ backing fracking in the US are actually produced by Big Oil in disguise; the debate around a groundbreaking report which puts Peak Oil to rest once and for all, and finally, how Bob Dudley’s woes at BP look set to continue for a while yet.

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Scraping the Barrel… 30 July 2012

As today’s barrel scrapes reveal: China plants a city in a disputed oil-rich area, the US eyes an end to its reliance on foreign oil, and Argentina tries to gain the upper hand on foreign oil companies. Read on below the fold…

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North and South Sudan: the biggest game of poker in the world

The facts are simple but brutal: in response to a dispute over pipeline fees, the world’s newest country South Sudan stopped producing oil in February because the only way to take it to market was through the pipeline to the north, through Sudan, the country they had just seceded from. Then there’s the interpretation of more »

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The two Sudans play the biggest game of poker in the world

The facts are simple but brutal: in response to a dispute over pipeline fees, the world’s newest country South Sudan stopped producing oil in February because the only way to take it to market was through the pipeline to the north, through Sudan, the country they had just seceded from. Then there’s the interpretation of more »

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A window of opportunity in Burma

Times are changing in Burma. Once it was risky to even say her name, now you can buy an Aung Sun Suu Kyi t-shirt on the streets of Yangon. Suu Kyi has long been a symbol of hope for Burmese people; David Cameron described her as a “shining example for people who yearn for freedom, more »

Why oil must be on the agenda in Rio

You don’t often hear the words “oil” and “development” in the same sentence. And if you do, then more often than not the discussion revolves around the discourse of the “resource curse” – the discovery of oil offers a guaranteed route to corruption, violent conflict, environmental degradation, exploitation of local peoples and, well, downright misery. more »

The IMF and oil – it’s the politics, stupid! (Jazeera)

There’s virtually a petro-politics story a day right now. If it’s not the two Sudans on the verge of war, it’s a sudden resurgence of economic nationalism in Argentina, where the government gave Repsol 15 minutes to pack their bags, or economic growth slowing in India because there’s not enough coal, or even arguments over whether an independent Scotland would more »

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The IMF and the world’s oil industry (Jazeera)

Berlin, Germany – The US and Israel are threatening to bomb Iran, and, even without and before that, petrol prices are nudging back towards the historic highs of 2008. Brent already stands at $125 per barrel, and we know from the last commodity boom that it can’t go much higher before a lot of poor more »

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EITI in the US: the invisible empire of oil (Part 3)

Growing up in Louisiana, the fourth-biggest oil producing state in America, I pretty much took the oil industry for granted. It was everywhere, of course. I saw the sprawling refineries, heard about the jobs created and the oil occasionally spilled, but it was so omnipresent that I almost didn’t notice it. Like someone from Paris more »

The story of Niger, or how not to have an oil boom while your people starve

There can’t be many countries who face famine as their GDP rises by 14%. Yet that is the situation in the West African state of Niger, where the World Food Program, the International Red Cross, Oxfam and other humanitarian agencies launched appeals this week to help some 400,000 people now at risk from severe malnutrition. more »

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Syria’s transit future: all pipelines lead to Damascus?

Between the rise of Hafez al-Assad in 1971 and the crisis engulfing his son’s government today, the Syrian energy sector seems to have come full circle. An oil importer in the 1950s and 60s with little production of its own, Syria became a net exporter of oil by the 1980s; it is now a country more »

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Who cares about oil?

What will it take to get Libyans talking about their oil industry? As in detail, numbers and mechanisms, not just salon gossip and personal slander. At the end of the Paving the Future Youth Forum, held in Tripoli last week by the British Council, the participants were asked to organise themselves into groups, according to more »

How treehuggers can help hard-nosed businessmen

Having spent the last 10 days in Libya, I’ve been searching, as I always seem to end up doing on field trips, for arguments to support the idea of publish and be damned. That governments should just let it all hang out, publish contracts, seismic data, the transactions of state-owned bank accounts, why not, as more »

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So what would an oil contracts database look like?

Imagine a world in which extractive industry contracts were routinely published, from Article 1 definitions to Annexes with long lists of GPS data points of contract areas and everything from production sharing splits to management structures inbetween. Imagine the typical corporate arguments of breach of confidentiality agreements and conflict with commercial interest had been trumped, more »

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Youth vs Experience in Libya- we fought the war, now you rule the country?

Yesterday was the last day of the British Council led “Paving the Future Youth Forum”, which has involved 100 incredibly smart young Libyans, and around 15 more from around the MENA region, and provided me with a great reason to come back here, as a facilitator on the journalism corner. As my last trip here more »

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Niger’s oil comes online while its people risk starvation

There can’t be many countries who face famine as their GDP rises by 14%. Yet that is the situation in the West African state of Niger, where the World Food Program, the International Red Cross, Oxfam and other humanitarian agencies launched appeals this week to help some 400,000 people now at risk from severe malnutrition. more »

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EITI in the US: leaning on Dodd-Frank (Part 2)

In a blog post last week I asked why the United States’ implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) should be limited to federal lands, responsible for about 30% of oil and gas production, and not cover private or state-owned areas, where most US oil and gas are produced. Today I look in more more »

Iraq’s EITI report shows discrepancies with a KPMG audit

We were running some numbers on Iraq’s first EITI report, published in December, and stumbled on a surprising fact: the reconciliation report carried out by Price Waterhouse Cooper, mapped exactly onto an audit by KPMG of the Development Fund for Iraq accounts held in New York. And yet there is a discrepancy of at least more »

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Wanted: no-win no-fee lawyers for Somalia

Contract renegotiations are in the news again. The Economist ran a feature recently on restive governments all across Africa imposing windfall taxes and seeking friendlier outcomes from a bunch of oil and mining contracts. And Africa’s growing number of early stage oil producers, like Uganda, Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya, and maybe even Liberia raise the concern more »

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EITI in the US: why only on federal lands? (Part 1)

The US sign-up last September to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) was met with widespread acclaim by international civil society groups. But EITI implementation in the US applies only to federally-owned lands, responsible for about 30 percent of oil and gas production, and not private or state-owned areas, where most US oil is produced. more »

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Wanted: no-win, no-fee lawyers for Somalia

Contract renegotiations are in the news again. The Economist ran a feature recently on restive governments all across Africa imposing windfall taxes and seeking friendlier outcomes from a bunch of oil and mining contracts. And Africa’s growing number of early stage oil producers, like Uganda, Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya, and maybe even Liberia raise the concern more »

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The missing pieces in Iraq’s first EITI report

The next few months are an incredibly crucial time for Iraq as an implementing country of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). It has until August 2012 to achieve EITI Validation, following the beginning of its candidacy in February 2010. As such, any issues with regards to the activities designed to display their increase in more »

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Iran out of ideas

Sanctions may or may not hit Iran’s oil industry hard, that remains to be seen. According to some their impact so far has been devastating; others have called them ineffectual and misguided. In fact, though, they may represent simply the last wave of a perfect storm of factors hampering the growth of an industry the whole Iranian more »

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Why doesn’t the oil industry talk to itself more?

Why doesn’t the oil industry talk more to itself? Or, to be more precise, oil industries, since while of course it’s one global market when it comes to buying and selling, and the flutter of a butterfly’s wing in the North Sea can send Singapore futures soaring, it looks a bit different and slightly more more »

Wiping the blood from our hands? Assessing the Dodd-Frank Act

Our smart phones, laptops and tablets connect us to the rest of the world in all sorts of ways, yet according to the director of the film Blood in the Mobile, Frank Poulsen, we might be more connected than we care to believe: “I knew there was a war in Congo, but I didn’t know more »

Iran sanctions risk widening rift between the West and India & China

In the maelstrom of debate around Western oil sanctions on Iran, the impact on the two Asian giants, India and China, has inevitably figured. Commentators have pointed out that Asian markets are likely, in fact, to be the biggest beneficiaries of the EU’s decision this week to impose oil sanctions after July 1 and similar more »

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Iraq’s first EITI report raises as many questions as it answers

Iraq issued its first report under the EITI mechanism just before the New Year and it was circulated last week in English, Arabic and Kurdish. It’s the first formal deliverable in Iraq’s participation in the transparency scheme since it signed up two years ago. Price Waterhouse Cooper reconciled financial reporting from Iraq’s monopoly oil marketing more »

When is an oil company not an oil company?

Question: When is an oil company not an oil company? Answer: When it’s a security contractor, a bank, a derivatives trader or manipulator of stock market value… The news this week that Heritage Oil was quietly advertising itself to those in the know as advisers to the new Libyan government, beginning with the advice that more »

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