“We use or produce oil but the contracts that make it all possible have been secret. Until now …..” This quotation which is taken from the blurb of the book Oil Contracts – How to read and understand them while a bit optimistic, does have a ring of truth about it. Freely available on the internet, this publication under a Creative Commons licence notes a change in the transparency dynamics of oil contracts under which oil companies and governments have historically used non-existent confidentiality clauses to conceal information from their citizens and the public at large.
It bears noting, and perhaps periodic repetition, that the model (Petroleum) Production Sharing Agreement under which oil companies are granted licences for the exploration and development of petroleum imposes confidentiality obligations only in respect of petroleum data, information and reports obtained or prepared by the oil companies. Any statement to the contrary is not only misleading: it is false and untruthful. Transparency and the overriding public interest in such contracts have caused a number of such contracts…to continue reading this article, please subscribe. Already a subscriber ? Sign In