Subsidy bill for Argentina’s Vaca Muerta decision could reach billions of dollars

Argentina’s agreement with oil companies to extend subsidies on natural gas production in the Vaca Muerta basin will cost hundreds of millions of dollars in the short-term, with the possibility that longer term the bill runs into many billions. The agreement, announced this week, says that prices for gas will remain fixed at $7.50 per more »

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How to build a robust model with almost no data

After doing the OpenOil training I had to choose a project I was interested in modeling. The joint venture between YPF and Chevron to exploit shale gas and oil in Vaca Muerta (South West of Argentina) was the obvious option. It had been all over the news, since the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) had more »

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Five reasons to model at the project level

The portfolio of models OpenOil is releasing with partners are all at the project level. Normally speaking, this involves building a view of the financial flows for the investor and government from a single mine or oil field. But of course modelling can be applied at the macro-level as well, seeking to address questions like: more »

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Comments to our Libra model release

Following our publication of the financial model and narrative report on Brazil’s $90 billion Libra project, we share with you a first set of comments as they were provided to us by our reader Ahmed Mousa Jiyad, Independent Oil & Energy Development Consultant. Please find below his unedited comments, as well as our direct responses more »

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Next release: Fiscal Model & Report for Batu Hijau

Shedding light on if and how Indonesia’s new fiscal regime is working at Batu Hijau Mining Project, Indonesia

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Modeled! Next release out of the OpenOil modeling sprint

Biggest mining project in Malawi’s history needs uranium price to double to restart production

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More and more oil & mining companies are factoring Brexit into forecasts

In anticipation of and in the weeks after the vote by the UK to leave the European Union, Brexit has increasingly been factored into the economic forecasts of the extractives industry, our research of financial reports filed to regulators globally shows. We can examine this reporting trend across the oil, gas, and mining sectors. The trend began more »

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Launched: First of 10 opendata fiscal models

Report and model for Brazil’s Libra suggest giant $90 billion oil field unlikely to go ahead as planned

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Analysing oil & mining made easy – a few more tips and tricks for Aleph

Accessing Aleph’s wealth of information requires a certain understanding of how to best use the search engine. While we are working hard to make the two million documents inside Aleph as easy to search across as possible, I have already provided many examples in a previous blog for why you should… 1) Be exact when selecting search more »

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Press Release:

Mongolian Government Unlikely to Receive Dividends from Oyu Tolgoi until 2035, OpenOil financial model and analysis show

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With Mandatory Disclosures, More Open, Granular Oil Price Data

This blog was also posted on the Natural Resource Governance Institute website and was written by David Mihalyi and Anton Rühling. Many oil-rich countries’ governments reap huge and notoriously opaqueproduction revenues. In the past, transparency initiatives were limited to exposing tax payments. However, EITI reports and company disclosures are exposing more details on these deals. We are more »

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Using Aleph to build cash flow models – the example of Vaca Muerta, Argentina

The Vaca Muerta formation – background and context Argentina holds the second largest shale gas reserves in the world. The Vaca Muerta formation, in the Neuquén Basin, is one of its main producing areas and its largest play of dry, wet, and associated shale gas resources. In July 2013, the Argentine energy company Yacimientos Petrolíferos more »

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Press Release: OpenOil Launches Aleph, a Search Engine for Extractive Industries Corporate Filings

Press Release For Immediate Use Berlin, 4 August 2016 – OpenOil, a Berlin-based consultancy, has launched Aleph, a new tool that enables government officials, journalists, financial analysts and researchers to search through corporate filings of publicly listed extractive companies across multiple jurisdictions. At launch, users can utilise Aleph to search through more than two million documents, more »

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BP publishes Payments to Governments Report

With the coming into effect of the European directive on mandatory disclosures in the extractive sector in the UK and France, this year will see the publication of entirely new data by major players in the mining, oil and gas industries. Companies have to publish their payments to governments, the nature of the payments and more »

Aleph in action: Marc Rich, Anvil Mining and the art of doing business in the DRC

I have long had an interest in the infamous figure of Marc Rich, the sanctions-busting tax-evading founder of Glencore. So, when testing out the OpenOil Aleph search tool, the first thing I was attracted to searching for was ‘Marc Rich’. Scrolling down the entries I stumbled upon this document from 2006, detailing a share sale more »

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The Panama Papers, corporate filings and the “bad guy” / “sharp guy” issues

Oil geek question: what do ConocoPhillips, Halliburton and Schlumberger have in common? Well… they all share the fact that they have, or at least at one point had, Panama incorporated subsidiaries. So why is that, if Panama isn’t actually producing any oil, as the U.S. Energy Information Administration states on their website? With the Panama more »

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Aleph Worshops

Berlin, April 26th Workshop Information London, April 29th Workshop Information SIGN UP FORM We invite you to join in on two workshops organized by the OpenOil team where we will invite participants to learn more about open data on the extractive industries and how to search and dig out information from the Aleph search engine. more »

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Using Aleph: 5 tips and tricks to find out about what extractive companies tell their investors

Every week thousands of pages are filed by extractive companies to stock exchanges across the globe, containing valuable information on oil, gas and mining operations worldwide. Through such disclosures, investors, regulators and researchers can update themselves on any listed company’s financial situation, the economics of particular oil or mining projects, newly signed host-government contracts, changes more »

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EITI adopts Open Data policy

OpenOil’s belief that transparency requires open data is steadily becoming an accepted truth. This was confirmed once more last month, when the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) agreed their first ever policy on open data. The EITI brings together governments, extractives corporations, investors and civil society. That makes it one of the most significant places more »

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Location references in petroleum contracts – some observations

It has become a matter of debate how the location of oil, gas and mining projects can or even has to be specified. Given that listed extractives companies in the EU, Canada and the US will soon have to disclose payments to governments on a “project basis”, this is just as much a tricky as more »

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Aleph Search Engine

Now Live: Aleph offers 2 million filings from 40,000 companies

OpenOil launches the Aleph search engine – everything extractive industries tell investors, in one place.

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PR: Aleph Launched

Press Release: OpenOil Launches Aleph

A Search Engine for Extractive Industries Corporate Filings

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Let’s not make the Paris Agreement the “Elephant in the Room”

In my first post I referred to how the Paris agreement mentions transparency, which in the text is confined to transparency around carbon accounting and the disbursement of the huge financial aid that is an integral part of the agreement. Neither of which relate directly to transparency of the upstream in extractive industries, which is more »

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COP21 & transparency: the page just got a whole lot bigger

What does the climate change deal signed in Paris mean for transparency in extractive industries? In the short term, relatively little. In the medium to long term however it could change everything: which natural resources are subject to transparency, how far public policy will intervene in the market, and whether we moved to a more more »

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Introducing Aleph: everything companies tell investors, in one place

Part I: why collect corporate filings? Can the world understand oil and mining companies as well as their investors do? We think it’s possible, and we’ve been hard at work building a tool to make it so. Our goal is: everything extractives companies tell investors, in one place. The result is Aleph, our new search more »

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Putting open data all together – the Tanzania pilot

For the past year, OpenOil has researched various aspects of open data on extractive industries. First we looked at corporate mapping – creating a network map of BP’s 1,200 subsidiaries across 84 countries with our colleagues at OpenCorporates. Then, with PWYP in Canada, we searched systematically for contracts disclosed by companies, which led to the more »

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Launched: Open Data Concession Map of the World

Part II, MENA countries: 53 countries, 3,400+ blocks, 200+ contracts – now in one map

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Open modeling will help governments, whether they admit it or not

We have seen how public interest models can put the power of analysis into the public domain, help raise the level of understanding around the financial engine of oil and gas projects, and channel advocacy into highly targeted requests for information to produce still more clarity. But where are governments in all this? If public more »

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Public interest models: a powerful tool for the advocacy agenda

Open financial models can clearly put analysis into a genuinely independent public space, and also trigger a rise in public understanding which could enrich the governance debate in many countries. But there is a third function public models can serve: that of advocacy for targeted disclosure of information. The stress here is on “targeted”. A more »

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Public interest modeling is the entry point, not the grand finale, of transparency work

Models are powerful tools. So powerful in fact that the discussion of whether they should be unleashed into the public space has sometimes been accompanied by a discussion of the “dangers” of doing so – reminiscent of the first debates around the idea of transparency itself. General thinking has been that models are a stage more »

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Total’s affiliate list sheds little light on what really matters

Total today announced it has published what looks like a relatively comprehensive list of its affiliate structures around the world. Some 902 affiliates incorporated in 99 jurisdictions and operating in 117 jurisdictions around the world. It is interesting reading, if you are an open data geek. Some company structures definitely seem as though they yield more »

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You don’t know what you’ve got until its modeled

More contract disclosure will not necessarily result in greater understanding of the economic implications of fiscal terms. The terms only become meaningful when their interactions are understood alongside relevant national tax laws and regulations. So to make real sense of the economic implications, the fiscal terms must be considered under varying scenarios of production, price more »

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Salmond and Darling: who has it right on Scotland’s oil?

As everyone has commented, Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling really went at it in the debate last night, and fulminated at each other about North Sea oil, like everything. But who was right about what? Well, to establish neutrality, let’s take one statement by each that was palpably… let’s say balderdash. Darling: “Looking ahead we more »

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Interactive UK Fracking Map

The UK government has awarded 27 licenses for fracking. Find out if you live in one or nearby.

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Putting open data all together – the Tanzania pilot

What open extractives data might look like when it’s all put together.

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Corporate Networks

OpenOil is developing open data systems around corporate relations in the oil, gas and mining industries.

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Of Bad Guys and Sharp Accountants

As I mentioned before, we had no particular reason to seek to map BP in particular. We were simply conducting an experiment into how much could be known about a major multinational from its own public filings. In trying to keep track of oil and mining industries, there are two particular issues that could be more »

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Mexico’s oil reforms: transparency now or never?

A few weeks ago we released the Spanish translation of Oil contracts: how to read and understand them, which we hope will bring some degree of clarity to the subject for our friends in Latin America and elsewhere. The publication is timely, coming just as one of the region’s most important petroleum producers, Mexico, pushes more »


Launched – Welcome to the BP holdings map!

First map of a big oil company’s holdings in an open data space, with 1,180 affiliates in 84 countries.

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namibia concessions

The concession layer: 20,000 concessions, 2,000 companies, 69 countries

Most of the world’s publicly available oil concession data – in one repository

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OpenOil is looking for partners to analyse oil contracts around the world

Are you looking for a way into promoting transparency and public understanding of your country’s oil and gas contracts? At OpenOil we are looking for partners to work with across the world to take the conversation around contracts to the next level by beginning to examine oil contracts country by country, working with model contracts. more »

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Energy Sector Reforms in Mexico: A Catch 22

Whatever changes Mexico’s energy sector will take, they will be radical compared to the status quo. At least this is what one might think, having followed Mexico`s energy reform debate since 2008 and president Nieto’s announcements following his ascent to power in December 2012. The wind of change to Mexico’s heavy crude is blowing. I more »

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‘One level up’ is EITI sweet spot for beneficial ownership

This is post is cross-posted at the EITI blog As there was a lot of talk around beneficial ownership within the new EITI standard, we thought we’d try and model what it could look like. It’s one of those thorny issues. Civil society wants it, corporates often state their belief that it is a heavy more »

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Tanzania files

Working on the edge: tracking mining companies in Tanzania!

At OpenOil we’ve been engaged in the last couple of months in seeing how it is possible to use Big Data techniques to track the corporate web across the world’s oil, gas and mining companies. Part of this has involved seeing if together with our friends we can actually get into company registers in some more »

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4th edition release: 806 contracts from 73 countries.

OpenOil is pleased to announce the 4th edition of the repository, with 83 new contracts.

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Did Margaret Thatcher blow the UK’s oil dividend?

Like many Brits, I suspect, I was reminded by Margaret Thatcher’s death of how ambivalent I felt about her legacy. It would be churlish not to recognise the change in entrepreneurial culture that happened in the 1980s. From where I stand it would be doctrinaire not to see the spread of home ownership as a more »

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Oil boom coming? Don’t tell anyone!

In 2009, a colleague of mine had an idea about how Ghana could innovate using its coming oil wealth. Being pretty well connected, he worked up some research and then flew to Accra for a meeting with the vice-president. He was heard out politely but at the end of his presentation his hosts politely informed more »

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South Sudan is surviving without oil — barely

About a month ago, President Salva Kiir said South Sudan’s oil production would restart in a week. Famous last words, it turns out – not a drop of crude has come through the pipeline since. It’s not that there’s no urgency: at the time of the shut-down in January, the government relied on oil for 98% of more »

Petro-politics in Uganda: get-rich-quick won’t pay

What does an oil sector in its infancy look like from the inside? Our researcher Amrit Naresh is in Kampala, Uganda for three weeks working with Uganda Radio Network to launch a new wiki on Uganda’s oil. This is the first in a series of blogs he’ll post while there. At a pub Monday night more »

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If Dodd-Frank took so long… is US EITI in trouble?

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has finally voted on the implementation of oil and mining transparency rules in the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform bill, more than a year after the original deadline came and went. Good news, to be sure, since tough financial disclosure rules are better late than never. But the delay more »