Mapping BP (3): Building a global network one affiliate at a time

The decision to try and map BP’s global network was based on the fact that the company makes many public filings. We didn’t really appreciate quite how many until we had finished. In the UK jurisdiction alone, the BP network we constructed shows 182 affiliate companies. Of these, the 26 which were second tier companies more »

Category: Blogs, BP, Companies, OpenOil blogs · Tags:

Indigenous oil companies in Nigeria: business is good, but is governance lacking?

Sixty years after Shell and BP first struck oil in the Niger Delta, multinational companies still produce more petroleum than local Nigerian companies do. But the long, fitful process of indigenizing the industry – a national priority since the 1970s – has finally, unmistakably, taken hold. In Port Harcourt, the steamy Delta oil hub, I saw more »

Big Data decoding Big Oil: Nigerian corporate networks

Last month in Lagos, we brought together activists from the tech and oil worlds for a hackathon on the extractive industries of Nigeria. A hackathon, in the lexicon of computer geekery, is what happens when people pool their research, programming, hacking skills to solve a problem or investigate a particular subject, sometimes over a period more »

Mapping BP (1): taking on the challenge

When Chris lent across the table and said “We need to map one of the Supermajors. My candidate is BP”, I was struck by a number of thoughts at once. First, perhaps aided by a couple of beers, was: how cool is that? Second was, how could a small team of people in one room more »

Category: Blogs, BP, Companies, OpenOil blogs · Tags:

Call for contributions: next generation oil governance

OpenOil is launching a project to map the corporate supply chain in the oil sector, combining Big Data techniques and collaboration with domain experts on the ground. We are piloting this approach in Nigeria and invite you to join us. An article from the Petroleum Economist last week was a reminder of just how much supply chain has mattered for more »

Category: Africa, Blogs, Companies, EITI, Nigeria, OpenOil blogs · Tags:

Oil and corruption in Uganda: the foreign donors’ plight

If this had been the UN, we might have sent a strongly worded statement to the Norwegians. They were absent from a forum in the heart of Africa on the corrupting effects of oil, an affliction for which Norway, more than any other nation, seemingly knows the cure. It wasn’t the UN – it was more »

Oil and Stability in Azerbaijan: cracks begin to appear.

There are some big decisions to be made by investors in Azerbaijan’s oil and gas sector this year, with up to $30 billion at stake at the Shah Deniz Stage 2 gas development, planned to come on stream in 2018.  Statoil is fretting about political uncertainty in the EU. But it and other investors should be more »

Category: Azerbaijan, Blogs, BP · Tags:

A tale of two giants: SOFAZ, SOCAR and the EITI in Azerbaijan

Some time ago I wrote about my initial bewilderment at the Azerbaijani government’s touting of its EITI record, given a personal experience of the country very much at odds with everything that the EITI stands for. Of course, the debate will always come back to the troubles of a broadly successful global mechanism overburdened with high more »

Category: Azerbaijan, Blogs, BP, CIS, EITI, Transparency, Uncategorized · Tags:

Lost in the pipeline: transparency and the “transit curse”

Bloggers in the world of energy came to accept some time ago that our topic matter, while it might get us hot under the collar, is going to be hard to sell to the wider world as a sexy topic. But judging by the ridicule of my colleagues at the prospect of writing a blog more »

Category: Azerbaijan, Blogs, BP, EITI · Tags:

Facing climate change with “peak oil” down

News just in – Big Oil rebutting Peak Oil theory. Is this really news? Well, I think so. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already familiar with the debate. In one corner, we have some environmentalists and Peak Oil-ers, declaring that the world’s oil production has peaked, holding pictures of nice, aesthetically pleasing Hubbert’s Curve, more »

Category: Blogs, Companies, Oil 101, Reserves · Tags:

Beirut- a tale of two conferences

Last week, I attended two conferences, both related to the oil industry. The similarities between the two were clear ; both relating to the extractive industries, held in Beirut, a focus on the MENA region, but the differences were astounding and revealed a huge amount to me about potential pitfalls in the campaign for good more »

Uganda seeks a refined place in the oil world

The other day in Kampala my boda-boda swerved around a truck headed west on a highway in the city’s outskirts. The trailer had PETROLEUM FOR EXPORT stenciled in faded letters on its side. As we shot past the big transporter barreling down the road, I wondered – Uganda isn’t producing oil yet. What is it doing exporting… more »

Category: Africa, Blogs, OpenOil blogs, Tullow, Uganda · Tags:

Upstream Petroleum Contracts: Where the “Rubber Hits the Road” in a Petroleum Regime

Blog contributed by Jay Park, a partner with Norton Rose, who will be one of the ‘sprinters’ in our booksprint initiative to write “How to Read and Understand Oil Contracts”. Zara Rahman’s recent blog post described OpenOil’s initiative to do a ‘booksprint’ to write a book about “How to Read and Understand an Oil Contract”.  more »

‘Cite du Petrole’: A Rare Snapshot of Big Oil’s Glory Days

The glossy “corporate social responsibility” pages of an oil major’s website are a heroic but stilted effort to resist the barrage of hostile public opinion towards ‘big oil’ (boo ,hiss), an industry which has become a byword for underhand dealings, pilfering and dishonesty.  However it has taken the discovery of little-known documentary Cite du Petrole to remind more »

Category: Azerbaijan, Blogs, CIS, Companies, Uncategorized · Tags:

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 »

Category: Blogs, Heritage, Libya, Middle East · Tags:

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 »

Breaking the mould in the oil industry

If you were to believe the CEOs of Big Oil speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Doha last month, you would think that the oil industry is in great shape. Every one of them emphasised how great the industry was doing; how the industry is in effect doing the world a great service and, more »

Category: Companies, Oil 101, Transparency · Tags:

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 »

Category: BP, Companies, Heritage, Libya · Tags: