Nigeria: Oil Transparency Remains “Elusive”

February 27, 2008By Andy RowellBlog Post

Although Nigeria passed legislation last year establishing an independent body the to make sure that oil majors pay the necessary royalties and taxes, anti-corruption activists are saying the law is not strong enough to fully clean the industry. Under the law – the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) – oil companies are required to … Read More

U.S. Trying to “Bribe” Iraqi MPs Over Oil Law

January 30, 2008By Andy RowellBlog Post

A fascinating story tucked away in the Gulf press. An anonymous Iraqi MP claims that some U.S. companies have offered a $5 million bribe to each Iraqi MP for passing Iraq’s controversial oil and gas law which has been stalled in the parliament for more than a year.

BP Pays $373m in Fines And Accepts Blame

October 26, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post

BP yesterday accepted blame for failures to protect employees, the environment and consumers as it agreed to hand over a total of $373m to settle a string of criminal investigations into its conduct across America. In an effort to put lapses under the leadership of Lord Browne behind it, BP struck a broad deal with … Read More

BP Pay $300m for Fixing Market

October 24, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post

BP agreed last night to pay $303m to settle charges that it had manipulated the propane gas market in the United States. BP was charged last year with price-rigging by cornering the propane market during illegal energy trading in 2004. A Department of Justice lawsuit alleged that one trader told another: “Dude, you’re the entire … Read More

Wyatt Pleads Guilty in Oil for Food Case

October 2, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post

Texas oil billionaire Oscar Wyatt faces up to two years in prison after pleading guilty to paying an illegal kickback to the regime of late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in exchange for the right to purchase oil. The surprise plea, coming in the third week of a trial related to the United Nations oil-for-food program, … Read More

Ex-Oil Exec Says He Paid Lawmaker

September 14, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post

Bill Allen, the former chairman of VECO Corp, has testified that he paid a lawmaker nearly $8,000 to help keep him in office and advocate for the construction of a natural gas pipeline tapping the state’s vast North Slope Reserves. The money was paid to former House Speaker Pete Kott in an inflated invoice for … Read More

Alaskan Oil Corruption Probe Gathers Pace

August 6, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post

An extraordinary political drama is unfolding in Alaska as both the FBI and federal grand juries investigate Ted Stevens, the nation’s longest-sitting Republican senator, and his son Ben Stevens, a former state Senate president whose office was twice searched by federal agents last year. The wide-ranging public-corruption investigation started with bribery allegations in the Juneau … Read More

US Justice Department Probes Nigerian Oil Operations

July 25, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post

The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a criminal inquiry of nearly a dozen oil and oil-services companies, focusing on potentially illegal payments – bribes – to customs agents who provided freight forwarding and other services, including in Nigeria. A civil investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission also is under way.

Avoiding the Resource Curse?

July 2, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post

A good article in today’s New York Times about oil development in Sao Tome, the small principality off the West African Coast. In contrast to much of African oil development – that has been plagued by corruption – Sao Tome’s oil development was meant to be different and benefit the local people. It was meant … Read More

World Bank President Resigns

May 18, 2007By Andy RowellBlog Post 1 Comment

After two years as President at the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, architect of the Iraq war, tendered his resignation on Thursday evening. “I have concluded that it is in the best interests of those whom this institution serves for that mission to be carried forward under new leadership,” writes Wolfowitz in a statement posted on … Read More