America's top three (3) oil and gas companies - Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil, are behemoths. In fact, their combined 2019 assets total $670 billion (Global 500). If they were an economy, they'd be the 21st largest in the world.
Natural resources offer host countries the opportunity to translate their assets into sustainable development. Having significant revenues enables governments to fund social services like health and education. But being too dependent on resource revenues also puts them at risk. The volatility of commodity prices can cause extreme shocks to their government spending especially if no systematic measures are in place for such occurrences. Hence it is important for citizens, policymakers, and journalists to ask how much government is making and how dependent are they from the sector.
As oil prices plummet, so will revenues and government transfers of national oil companies (NOCs). Should this go on, some NOCs may face insolvency, debt restructuring, and costly government bailouts.
On my first week at Bantay Kita - PWYP Philippines back in June 2015, I was tasked to create primers using subnational data from the Philippine EITI report. Open data was on its early days then. To be able to analyze the data, I had to… manually encode the data from the paper report. That task took so much of my time and I even got some data wrong. Fast forward to 2020 and we are now drowning in datasets with plenty of online portals publishing even more data. How far has our movement gone?
Hey there! I'm Marco from the Philippines. I write mostly about natural resource governance, open data, and good governance.