Oversight actors can detect and prevent corruption in the oil, gas and mining sectors if they ask the right questions. Corruption schemes can be complex and opaque, yet clear patterns and similar signs of problematic behavior do exist across resource-rich countries.
In many oil-producing countries, the government receives a physical share of production, and that oil is then typically sold by the national oil company (NOC). These trading transactions are currently subject to limited regulation and even fewer reporting requirements.
A significant component of Angola’s productive oil sector is Sonangol, the national oil company. Despite the country’s history of political instability and lack of technical expertise, Sonangol has managed to maximize revenue for the government and create an investor-friendly environment. The company is well regarded by the international and regional oil industry. However, Sonangol performs functions that may be out of its remit and a complex relationship exists between the government and the company that has ultimately weakened its transparency and created mistrust among the public.
The sale of crude oil by governments and their national oil companies (NOCs) is one of the least scrutinized aspects of oil sector governance. This report is the first detailed examination of those sales, and focuses on the top ten oil exporting countries in sub-Saharan Africa.