The report is part of Norway’s adherence to the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI). As the only OECD country so far, Norway is implementing the EITI criteria. The EITI aims to increase the transparency of payment flows between companies and governments in countries rich in natural resources.
This is the second report produced by Norway. In total, 23 countries have published such reports since 2005. This form of reporting can make a significant difference for the inhabitants in many of these countries, and may in time contribute to economic and social development and better standards of living. For Norway, the reporting and reconciliation confirmed figures already published in other contexts, such as the central government accounts. The aim is also to inform and increase the understanding of the significance of this important sector in the Norwegian economy. The report provides information on each company’s payments of tax, CO2 tax, NOx-tax and area fees to the state in 2009. Similarly, the report shows payments from the State’s Direct Financial Interest (SDFI).
– EITI is a simple yet important tool that can help improve living conditions and the future for millions of people. Countries with access to natural resources are sitting on a fortune. It is a paradox that the populations in many of these countries are so poor. I am happy that Norway is active and supports the EITI in many ways, and that we also contribute by implementing the same measures that we expect from the countries where transparency and control of financial flows is absent or very poor, said Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Riis-Johansen.
3.5 billion people live in countries rich in oil, gas and minerals. Unfortunately, a majority of these live a life in poverty, often marked by war and conflicts. The aim of the EITI is to improve the transparency of payment flows. With greater transparency, the authorities will be accountable for the management of resources and allocation of revenues, so that access to natural resources can be a source of development.
The EITI is strongly supported by many countries, companies and organisations. 35 countries are implementing the so-called EITI criteria, which require regular publication of reports and reconciliation of cash flows between companies and authorities. Another key element of implementation is the creation of a joint working group of stakeholders from government, companies and civil society, who should take part in the implementation of such reporting and publish information.
The petroleum industry is Norway¢s largest industry. In 2009, government revenues from this sector amounted to 27 per cent of the state’s total revenue. Payments were 135 billion NOK lower in 2009 compared with 2008. The decrease in revenue is mainly due to falling prices for Norwegian oil and gas from an unusually high level in 2008. Moreover, higher costs and record-high investments contributed to lower tax payments for 2009.