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Shell blocking Canadian transparency/anti-corruption initiative?

By John Donovan

The Globe and Mail newspaper in Canada has published an article by Alan Detheridge, a former Royal Dutch Shell senior executive. A Vice President of Shell Canada when he left the company after 30 years.

He must have known the company very well after all that time.

If I have not misunderstood the content of his article, he does not seem to trust Shell or for that matter, other members of the oil industry, as far as transparency/corruption is concerned.

His article is about the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act, which he says “will go a long way toward helping people in natural resource-rich countries hold their governments to account.”

The oil industry is apparently campaigning for a weaker law. That comes as no surprise.

Extracts from his article

On transparency bill, Canada should stand its ground against Big Oil

I worked for Royal Dutch Shell for 30 years, including as a vice-president of Shell Canada, and I am concerned by the industry’s efforts to undermine this legislation. The law would require oil, gas, and mining companies in Canada to disclose their payments to governments around the world. This legislation is meant to fulfill Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s G8 commitment to establish “new mandatory reporting standards for Canadian companies operating in this sector.”

Extractive companies can bring great wealth to the countries where they operate. Resource revenues have the potential to drive economic growth and reduce poverty. However, in some resource-endowed countries, these revenues are lost to corruption and mismanagement, with few benefits flowing to the general population.

Providing government officials, parliamentarians, journalists and civil society groups with information about companies’ payments to governments for oil, gas and mining projects enables them to hold their governments to account.

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