Total becomes first major oil co to support contract transparency

Author: Robert Pitman on GOXI, Published on: 20 February 2018

"Total Becomes First Major Oil Company to Support Contract Transparency", 15 February 2018

French oil giant Total is the latest company to make a policy statement in support of contract transparency in the extractive industries. This is the first policy statement of its kind by one of the so-called “supermajors”—the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas companies.

Oil, gas and mining contracts agreed between companies and governments set out the legal framework for extractive projects. Publishing contracts allows citizens of resource-rich countries much-needed scrutiny of deals that can be worth billions of dollars. Disclosure also provides important opportunities for governments and companies to build public trust in the extractive industries. From an investor perspective, publication of contracts reduces the political risk that results when deals are kept secret...

What makes Total’s statement stand out is that the company does not simply express its support contract transparency—it goes one step further to advocate for host states to disclose their petroleum contracts and licenses. This is particularly noteworthy because many of countries in which Total works are still coming around to the practice of contract transparency. Of over 40 countries in which Total works, contracts are only publicly available in 12, including 15 EITI member countries of which only 7 currently disclose agreements. [also refers to Rio Tinto, Kosmos Energy and Tullow Oil]

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Related companies: Total