In an attempt this Tuesday by TotalFinaElf to “match” BP’s position on transparency in Angola, the French oil major declared that it had turned over “precise technical and financial information” to the IMF and the World Bank.
“This clearly looks like an attempt by TotalFinaElf to take credit alongside BP for transparency in Angola”, said Simon Taylor of Global Witness. “Many journalists have contacted us and asked our opinion of this “move” by TotalFinaElf. One might ask what move? It is good that they are cooperating with the IMF and the World Bank, but that is the bare minimum that should be expected of them – in fact of all oil companies operating in Angola. It is laughable to suggest that this constitutes providing key data in the public domain”.
In a letter dated 6th February 2001 to Global Witness, BP declared that it would be publishing the following data in Angola:
· Total net production by block.
· Aggregate payments by BP to Sonangol in respect of PSA terms.
· Total taxes and levies paid by BP to the Angolan Government as a result of their operations.
· BP have already published their signature bonus payment to the Angolan Government for their share of Angola’s Block 31 of US$ 111,689,000 on page 11 of the annual return of BP Exploration (Angola) Ltd, filed in Companies House.
BP’s statement gives rise to further questions for which Global Witness is seeking clarification.
“TotalFinaElf stated that they had “nothing to hide about what they are doing in Angola”. If this is the case, and since BP have shown that data can be published, why is the company trying to claim credit for doing the absolute minimum – they should publish this information in the public domain”, said Taylor. “At least we have heard a response from TotalFinaElf – in comparison to the deafening silence from the rest. The question to ask now is: When will we hear from the other key companies in Angola such as Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Texaco, Norsk Hydro, Statoil, Shell, Agip, Petrobras, Petrogal, Sonangol and the rest, about whether they are prepared to publish key data that should be in the public domain about their operations in Angola?”
Press Release / Feb. 15, 2001