ExxonMobil in Financial Times: We supported EITI from the very beginning

Nick Thomas, Director of Corporate Affairs in ExxonMobil has written a Letter to the Editor in Financial Times Friday 2 May that emphasizes that ExxonMobil has been a strong supporter of EITI from its very begining. The letter was a response to a Financial Times report on the launch of the PRT report earlier in the week.

FT.com [subscribtion needed]

ExxonMobil backs transparency deals

Published: May 2 2008 03:00 | Last updated: May 2 2008 03:00

From Mr Nick Thomas.

Sir, Measures to enhance revenue transparency in the oil and gas industry are critically important, so it is unfortunate that Transparency International’s recent report, together with your editorial “Fighting graft” (April 29), did not address the real and substantial work being done in this area by companies such as ExxonMobil.

By not adequately addressing issues such as contractual limits on the ability of oil companies to detail revenue flows, and by using a number of simplistic criteria to assess performance, the TI report paints a misleading picture of the state of transparency initiatives by the industry. ExxonMobil, for example, has been active in helping to establish transparency agreements to disclose government revenues in countries in which we have significant investments, including Chad, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Nigeria.

We support initiatives such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the Group of Eight transparency initiative, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. We supported EITI from the very beginning after its announcement by Tony Blair in September 2002, and helped advise the UK’s Department for International Development regarding EITI implementation at the international level and in specific countries. In addition, given our strong experience with EITI, we were elected to the EITI board in 2006 to help represent 15 international oil companies.

These measures help to demonstrate that ExxonMobil is committed to honest and ethical behaviour and opposes corruption by supporting transparency. It is a shame that, rather than advancing constructive discussion on the importance of meaningful transparency initiatives, the TI report has in fact caused a distraction from it.

Nick Thomas,
Director, Corporate Affairs,
ExxonMobil