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Amrit Naresh's Blog (19)

Indigenous oil companies in Nigeria: business is good, but is governance lacking?

Sixty years after Shell and BP first struck oil in the Niger Delta, multinational companies still produce more petroleum than local Nigerian companies do. But the long, fitful process of indigenizing the industry – a national priority since the 1970s – has finally, unmistakably, taken hold.

In Port Harcourt, the steamy Delta oil hub, I saw more filling stations with local brand names than international ones: shiny signs emblazoned with Conoil and Oando logos, to name just two. Local…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on June 12, 2014 at 14:18 — No Comments

Gas flares, blackouts and the paradox of Nigeria's energy problems

The other night on a flight from Port Harcourt to Lagos, I saw what a gas flare looks like from the sky. Against a black backdrop, I counted flares by the dozens – giant, violent looking plumes of burning gas illuminating the night sky. I was struck by the darkness between the flares: I saw no electric lights, save for a few faintly glowing clusters, as I flew across a region that sustains upwards of 31…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on June 3, 2014 at 11:30 — No Comments

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 through reforms to end the 76-year monopoly of its national champion, Pemex.

It’s…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on April 8, 2014 at 17:00 — 1 Comment

Big Data decoding Big Oil: Nigerian corporate networks

Last month in Lagos, we brought together activists from the tech and oil worlds for a hackathon on the extractive industries of Nigeria. A hackathon, in the lexicon of computer geekery, is what happens when people pool their research, programming, hacking skills to solve a problem or investigate a particular subject, sometimes over a period of several days. Alongside stacks of empty pizza boxes and coffee pots, hackathons often produce a program or application that aims to be usable by…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on January 22, 2014 at 12:30 — 2 Comments

Call for contributions: next generation oil governance

OpenOil is launching a project to map the corporate supply chain in the oil sector, combining Big Data techniques and collaboration with domain experts on the ground. We are piloting this approach in Nigeria and invite you to join us.

An article from the Petroleum Economist last week was a reminder of just how much supply chain has…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on October 8, 2013 at 13:24 — 2 Comments

A snapshot of the extractive industries in five countries, from OpenOil and Cordaid

OpenOil and Cordaid are publishing a series of policy briefs about the oil, gas and mining industries of South Sudan, Colombia, DR Congo, Guatemala and Nigeria. The briefs are written for the people directly involved and aim to improve the quality of the public debate about the industries. The first policy brief is on South Sudan. Download it here.

We view these…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on July 23, 2013 at 16:30 — No Comments

Society and revolution in Libya: can young people make the oil industry better?

Young people started Libya’s revolution, young people fought and young people finished it. Now, almost two years after Tripoli’s liberation, their role in this new nation they helped create is unclear.

Some of them have started radio stations to bring a little more exposure to the outside world. Others are active in a bustling civil society, trying to make politics more accessible for the youth. And some have launched new businesses to try their…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on July 5, 2013 at 13:04 — No Comments

Oil and corruption in Uganda: the foreign donors’ plight

If this had been the UN, we might have sent a strongly worded statement to the Norwegians. They were absent from a forum in the heart of Africa on the corrupting effects of oil, an affliction for which Norway, more than any other nation, seemingly knows the cure.

It wasn’t the UN – it was a workshop on the Ugandan oil sector at a hotel in Kampala. But Norway’s absence from the foreign donors gathered there seemed to underscore the challenge they face to figure out how to help Uganda…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on May 17, 2013 at 14:54 — 2 Comments

What’s at stake in Uganda’s oil bills?

It’s been seven years since Uganda first struck oil. But the stuff still isn’t flowing and won’t be for a while, even though a landmark oil bill finally passed in December and many in the government are eager to start pumping.

If you’re part of the Ugandan equivalent of the ‘drill baby drill’ crowd – whatever they call their type in Kampala – what’s troubling is that the December bill, on the upstream sector, may have been easy compared to what’s next.…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on January 25, 2013 at 13:38 — No Comments

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…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on December 19, 2012 at 16:00 — No Comments

Uganda seeks a refined place in the oil world

The other day in Kampala my boda-boda swerved around a truck headed west on a highway in the city’s outskirts. The trailer had PETROLEUM FOR EXPORT stenciled in faded letters on its side. As we shot past the big transporter barreling down the road, I wondered – Uganda isn’t producing oil yet. What is it doing exporting… oil?

As I learned later on it’s not such a big mystery. Not yet exploiting its own…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on December 11, 2012 at 6:56 — 2 Comments

Open Letter: to the EITI companies leading the fight against transparency

To EITI board members Mr Stuart Brooks of Chevron, Mr Alan McLean of Royal Dutch Shell, Ms Elodie Grant Goodey of BP, and Mr Guillermo Garcia of ExxonMobil:

Each of your companies is a member of the American Petroleum Institute (API), which …

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Added by Amrit Naresh on October 18, 2012 at 17:00 — No Comments

Exploring Oil Data: A Reporter's Handbook

Hello fellow GOXIers,

We thought you'd be interested in this new resource, Exploring Oil Data: A Reporter's Handbook, available at data.openoil.netIt's the first-ever guide to public domain data around the oil industry, and serves as a useful tool help make sense of the Big Data that are transforming the industry. The guide includes profiles on five standing resources and statistical databases, ten oil and gas media sources, ten…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on September 28, 2012 at 15:30 — No Comments

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 is troubling, not only because of the bill’s …

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Added by Amrit Naresh on August 27, 2012 at 17:10 — 2 Comments

EITI in the US: the invisible empire of oil (Part 3)

Growing up in Louisiana, the fourth-biggest oil producing state in America, I pretty much took the oil industry for granted.

It was everywhere, of course. I saw the sprawling refineries, heard about the jobs created and the oil occasionally spilled, but it was so omnipresent that I almost didn’t notice it. Like someone from Paris who doesn’t do a double-take at the Eiffel Tower, or a California kid who assumes every place in the world has a golden…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on April 10, 2012 at 10:30 — No Comments

Syria’s transit future: all pipelines lead to Damascus?

Between the rise of Hafez al-Assad in 1971 and the crisis engulfing his son’s government today, the Syrian energy sector seems to have come full circle.

An oil importer in the 1950s and 60s with little production of its own, Syria became a net exporter of oil by the 1980s; it is now a country whose depleting reserves will lead to…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on March 29, 2012 at 18:34 — No Comments

EITI in the US: leaning on Dodd-Frank (Part 2)

In a blog post last week I asked why the United States’ implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) should be limited to federal lands, responsible for about 30% of oil and gas production, and not cover private or state-owned areas, where most US oil and gas are produced.

Today I look in more detail at whether the federal government could force states to adopt…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on March 9, 2012 at 10:30 — No Comments

EITI in the US: why only on federal lands? (Part 1)

The US sign-up last September to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) was met with widespread acclaim by international civil society groups. But EITI implementation in the US applies only to federally-owned lands, responsible for about 30…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on February 29, 2012 at 14:36 — 1 Comment

Iran's oil industry is out of ideas

Sanctions may or may not hit Iran’s oil industry hard, that remains to be seen. According to some their impact so far has been devastating; others have called them ineffectual and misguided. In fact, though, they may represent simply the last wave of a perfect storm of factors hampering the…

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Added by Amrit Naresh on February 10, 2012 at 10:21 — No Comments

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