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Slew of new payment disclosure requirements undermine oil industry case - See more at: 18 June 2013

If you’re in the oil business and trying to hide your payments to host governments, last week was a rough one.

Big Oil Headquarters3Most notably, on Wednesday the European Parliament overwhelmingly approved new European Union legislation that requires oil, gas and mining companies to disclose their country and project level payments in every country of operation. The final tally was 657 for and 17 against. This broad backing of payment disclosure from across the political spectrum was a stinging defeat for Shell, BP and other companies who lobbied European member states and European Members of Parliament. They failed to weaken the final provisions in theTransparency and Accounting Directives that will bind companies in Europe to the same standards as those who report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission as a result of the “Cardin-Lugar” or Section 1504 provision in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.

The European Parliament vote approves the political agreement reached in April after long negotiations between the Parliament, European Commission and member states of the European Council. Importantly, the new European requirements contain no reporting exemptions—a clear sign that member states and parliamentarians were unconvinced that alleged host government prohibitions exist. (Oil companies have alleged that such prohibitions exist, but have not been able to provide a single example to the public or the court.)

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