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I'm glad Johnny's done some number-crunching because we always knew that cost recovery was a black hole, but not quite how big the money was. It may help to explain why the oil companies are so hostile to project-level reporting under Dodd Frank.

Here in Timor Leste, the government brought in foreign experts to go over the contracts with the oil companies and has managed to get several hundred dollars of unpaid revenues out of them so far. For a detailed account, there is the always-excellent Lao Hamutuk:

The "Bubble Effect" also applies to corruption, of course. Squeeze corruption in one place and it migrates somewhere else. This is why the EITI should have the flexibility to report on whatever aspect of the extractive sectors needs more public scrutiny, rather than being limited to certain areas.