When I first heard about the project, Oil Reporting in Iraq, I was a little surprised that it was even necessary for people outside Iraq to deal with such a topic. It was one of the first projects I worked on at OpenOil back in 2010, and it consisted of a wikipedia-style database with articles more »
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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, as they should be, by the fact that one of the two partners to the agreement is a sovereign state, and that a consensus now accepts that the public interest in publication, for billions of consumers as well as the citizens of the world's producing countries, both outweighs and is compatible with reasonable commercial interests. How would we make sense of the world's oil and mining contracts?