Oil and gas

Issue Brief: IFI Backgrounders for the National Roundtables on Extractives and CSR - March 2006

Monthly Issue Update - February 28, 2006

World Bank Fund Suspension in Chad: Local Implications for AIDS Work
The Chadian government recently amended their Petroleum Revenue Management Law for the Chad-Cameroon pipeline by removing the 'future generations fund' (10% of direct oil revenues are placed in an account for future use) to be able to access more oil revenues. This was due to a recent change in national priorities in favour national security and territorial administration, away from such issues as health care. The World Bank perceived this change as unacceptable and in January 2006 suspended their $124 million loan for eight active projects in Chad (See Issue Update Vol. II, No. 1). Three days of talks between the Chadian government and the Bank ensued. The discussions covered Chad's social spending and its critical budget shortfall, as well as the increases in border security to tackle the influx of refugees coming from the Darfur region of Sudan. Despite the changes made by the Chadian government, the Bank has maintained its suspension, and plans 'to safeguard the oil revenues intended for poverty reduction programs included in its original agreement with Chad.' A way forward is not clear.

Monthly Issue Update - January 31, 2006

World Bank Suspends Loans to Chad for Oil Pipeline
On January 12, in a rarely seen move, the World Bank cut off funding to the Chad-Cameroon Petroleum Development and Pipeline Project pipeline. The $4.2 billion project entailed the development of the southern Chadian oil fields at Doba and the construction of a 1,070 km pipeline that begins in Chad, crosses through Cameroon, and leads to an offshore oil-loading facility on Cameroon's Atlantic coast. To address concerns about weak governance, poor budget-management experience, and setting up a major project in a recently war-torn country, the Bank had attached strict conditions to the loan. Hailed by the Bank as a pioneering breakthrough, Chad was obliged to account for its estimated $1.8 billion in oil royalties through a transparent revenue management system. As a result, in 1998 the Chadian government adopted the Oil Revenues Management Act requiring more than 80 percent of the accrued revenues to be allocated to education, health, rural development, infrastructure, environment and water, with a 10 percent long-term savings account fund to benefit future generations. But since that time, the Chadian government made fundamental changes to the law to allow for greater spending flexibility, and failed to include the Bank in the revisions. The Bank saw this change as unacceptable, and elected to suspend the $124 million loan.

Press Release - Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Business as usual in more ways than one: NGOs say World Bank looks set to miss an historic moment to show that it can learn from its mistakes

Ottawa -  As World Bank staff return to work for the second day under the chilling new terrorist alert in the U.S., all efforts are being made to ensure that their work carries forward as it normally would. But NGOs are concerned that the World Bank will today decide to carry on with “business as usual” in its oil, gas and mining operations even though a World Bank commissioned report called for significant changes to how the Bank invests in mining and oil projects.

Letter to the Honourable Ralph Goodale Re: Extension to EIR comment period - July 6, 2004

July 6, 2004

The Honourable Ralph Goodale
Minister of Finance
L'Esplanade Laurier, East Tower, 21st Floor
140 O'Connor Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G5

RE: Request for Canada to call for an extension of EIR Comment Period

Dear Minister Goodale,

On June 18, the World Bank Group Management released Draft Management Responses to the World Bank Group Extractive Industries Review, the OED/OEG/OEU Evaluation of Extractive Industries, and the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman Report. We appreciate that the World Bank Board requested the release of these documents for public comments.

Unfortunately, these drafts were available only in English during almost half of the allotted comment period. Ironically, one of the key recommendations in all three reports is to continue to improve public participation and access to information on various different levels.


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