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Africa: Statoil’s Historic Disclosures Blow Holes in Exxon and Shell’s Campaign for Secrecy

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 08.17.47Statoil’s disclosures deal a major blow to efforts by a small number of backward looking oil firms, including ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and BP, to weaken the U.S. transparency rule. Unless transparency rules include these elements, they will give companies a licence to continue making corrupt payments.

Extracts from a Press Release by Global Witness published 19 March 2015

Transparency campaigners call on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to follow Norway’s lead

The Norwegian energy giant Statoil today became the first major oil company to publish its payments to governments under a new, mandatory transparency standard being rolled out across the world. As the Securities and Exchange Commission works to create a similar transparency rule for US-listed oil and mining companies, campaigners in the Publish What You Pay coalition are calling on U.S. regulators to follow Norway’s lead. (1)

Norway is the first country to bring the standard into effect, which requires oil, gas and mining companies to disclose the revenues they pay into government coffers – such as taxes, royalties and licence fees – for all countries they operate in. (2) Greater transparency will enable citizens to monitor payments worth hundreds of billions of dollars each year, and hold their governments to account for how the money is used.

Statoil’s disclosures deal a major blow to efforts by a small number of backward looking oil firms, including ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and BP, to weaken the U.S. transparency rule.

Unless transparency rules include these elements, they will give companies a licence to continue making corrupt payments.

FULL PRESS RELEASE

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