Deals in the oil, gas and mining sectors may be worth billions of dollars over decades. Yet there is surprisingly little systematic guidance for ensuring transparency in allocating and managing the rights to explore for and exploit natural resources.
This report, from NRGI and the Open Contracting Partnership, addresses that gap by shining a light on 16 global good practices that governments have used to improve transparency across the processes by which they award and manage oil, gas and mining rights. (For more information on the report, read this blog post.)
These global good practices are relevant for regulators, oversight actors and transparency advocates, including those working to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) standard or to develop Open Government Partnership national action plans.
Big Picture Thinking
1. Use joined-up information to explain the contracting system in full.
2. Reconcile information needs of both companies and citizens.
3. Communicate who the decision-makers are.
4. Disclose information about the areas to be opened to extractive industry contracting and why.
5. Reconcile sub-surface and surface rights and the needs of their users.
6. Publicly explain the choice between different allocation methods and how they apply in different situations.
Allocation and award of contracts and licenses
7. Communicate early that allocation is happening.
8. Publish the rules of the game.
9. Disclose who stands to benefit.
10. Disclose regulator engagement with prospective companies.
11. Conduct and disclose consultative processes
12. Disclose allocation outcomes.
The contract itself
13. Disclose contracts.
14. Disclose investment, production and reserves.
15. Disclose revenues and benefits.
16. Track and disclose contract compliance.
This report builds on earlier research on best practices for transparency in contract management carried out by NRGI for the National Hydrocarbons Commission of Mexico.