Tullow Oil has broken ranks with the rest of the industry to disclose for the first time how much tax and royalties it pays governments in the mainly poor countries in which it operates, on a project-by-project basis.
The company’s move to outline its payments in today’s annual report comes amid a major campaign from anti-poverty campaigners to bring more transparency to the revenues western minerals companies bring to poor countries when they arrive.
The widespread conception has been that companies buy mining licences on the cheap, bribing local officials, and do corrupt deals to reduce the amount of tax they have to pay.
Tullow’s voluntary disclosure comes ahead of EU rules coming into the UK next year requiring all European oil, mining and logging companies to publish such details.
The Big Oil lobby has been campaigning against such rules, the NGO Global Witness said, arguing such disclosure would be a heavy burden to business.