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Posts on ‘December 8th, 2013’

Taylor: Will SEC give oil companies the green light on secrecy?

In the event that Shell and Eni’s handling of the deal is found to be in breach of U.S. anti-bribery laws, investors, who were not given the opportunity to assess these payments, could also be on the hook for penalties that could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

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By Simon Taylor | December 7, 2013

Lack of new disclosure rules for foreign government access puts investors at risk

Conspicuously missing from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s annual update on regulatory activity released last week is a rule requiring companies to disclose what they pay foreign governments for access to natural resources. The agency needs to put an immediate end to these secret payments if it is to do its job of protecting investors.

When the SEC proposed disclosure rules in August 2012 as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law, the American Petroleum Institute (which represents companies such as Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron) sued the SEC to keep their deals – and the public – in the dark. In July, a federal court supported the institute’s case and ordered the SEC to revise its original payment disclosure rule. The SEC needs to make the rewrite a top priority so that a new version of the rules is released in early 2014. read more

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