Oil, Gas and Mining for Development

Multinational companies regularly hire agents and fixers to help them win lucrative business in complex or unfamiliar environments. These intermediaries, who include both established firms and well-connected individuals, provide introductions to decision-makers, intelligence on how to secure a contract, and an on-the-ground presence in far-flung lands. Sometimes they also serve as conduits for bribes.

Extractive projects can generate substantial revenues for host countries, and discoveries often bring hopes of jobs, development and newfound wealth. But they also generate a range of negative environmental and social effects, which can have direct and significant economic implications.

In many oil-producing countries, the national oil company (NOC) sells vast quantities of the state’s oil and gas. The sale of a state’s non-renewable natural resource endowment is often a revenue stream that can have a significant impact on a country’s national budget and development. The authors of this briefing use data from NRGI’s new National Oil Company Database to examine the governance and corruption risks posed by NOCs' oil sales activities.

Top photo: Gas pipeline construction in the Peruvian Andes. Jean Gaumy / MAGNUM