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Lucy Wallwork's Blog (9)

The EITI and Zombie Transparency: what next for Azerbaijan?

One of my favourite catchphrases thrown around last week at the sixth EITI global conference was ‘zombie transparency’. Not a reference to jetlagged scenes over EITI Board meetings, as suggested by one Board member, but to the danger of implementing countries sleep-walking through the box-ticking exercises required by the standard, while contributing little to meaningful reform. The reformed standard finalised this week is a crucial attempt to keep the EITI at the avant-garde of the…

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Added by Lucy Wallwork on June 21, 2013 at 11:57 — No Comments

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…

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Added by Lucy Wallwork on April 30, 2013 at 13:05 — No Comments

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 expectations. But now, as the EITI hammers out a…

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Added by Lucy Wallwork on March 28, 2013 at 14:06 — No Comments

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 on the least sexy of unsexy oil topics – transit fees – it seems this is the real anorak of the sector. But shouldn’t we care more about transit fees? Why demand less of them than of other revenue streams when, for…

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Added by Lucy Wallwork on January 30, 2013 at 17:22 — No Comments

Venezuela: 21st century socialism & Paradise Lost

Heads turned on global oil markets when news hit the press earlier this year that Venezuela had snook past Saudi to top the table of global oil reserves, with a staggering 296.5 billion of proven reserves. And as the …

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Added by Lucy Wallwork on December 14, 2012 at 11:41 — 2 Comments

The everyday face of Azerbaijan’s “rentier state”

There is endless theorising around the 'resource curse' from a birds-eye perspective, from creeping inflation rates to weak institutions and grand corruption. But on the ground in an oil-dominated society like Azerbaijan the phenomenon of 'rent-seeking' can lead also to a deeply embedded rentier culturevisible on the level of everyday interactions.…

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Added by Lucy Wallwork on October 10, 2012 at 11:59 — 3 Comments

FARC's new Big Oil strategy in Colombia

Two events have propelled Colombia into the pages of international newspapers in recent weeks. The second was last month’s hosting of the Summit of the America’s, held in the sun-drenched port of Cartagena - despite walk-outs and spats over the Falklands, the event was widely touted as celebrating Colombia’s miraculous “comeback” from a mal-functioning narco-state to take its place alongside Brazil and Argentina as a new regional powerhouse. The first however was the historic commitment made…

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Added by Lucy Wallwork on May 3, 2012 at 16:32 — 1 Comment

Colombia, KRG, Peru: so where are those “published” oil contracts?

There is an ever increasing level of interest in the debate around contract transparency in the global extractives industries, and a growing minority of jurisdictions which have agreed to publish contracts openly. However winning the argument is only the first chapter in the story as I discovered recently looking at Colombia, Peru and Iraqi Kudistan. First, once the…

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Added by Lucy Wallwork on February 22, 2012 at 12:08 — 3 Comments

Be Careful What You Wish For: Nascent Petro-states in Colombia and Ghana

We're used to thinking of Resource Curse as what happens when oil is discovered and pumped in poor countries with few other economic options and systems of governance that are, at best, shaky. So what to make of Colombia's impending oil boom - nudging a million barrels of oil a day and rising? Will the country's long history of democracy, albeit amid turbulence, and its status as a middle-income economy with a strong middle class, insulate it against the most corrosive effects of oil…

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Added by Lucy Wallwork on February 7, 2012 at 13:14 — No Comments

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