ResourceContracts.org is a repository of publicly available oil, gas, and mining contracts. The repository features plain language summaries of each contract’s key social, environmental, human rights, fiscal, and operational terms, and tools for searching and comparing contracts. ResourceContracts.org promotes greater transparency of investments in the extractive industries, and facilitates a better understanding of the contracts that govern them.
Why this site?
Contracts that govern the relationship between governments and oil, gas, and mining companies in the extraction and exploitation of natural resources are complex. The related licenses, leases, concessions, and other contractual arrangements affect everything from tax liabilities to local content obligations to the protection of the environment. Despite the critical role these contracts play in setting the rules for investments in extractive industries, they are often difficult to discover. Even when publicly available, the tools to assess and compare the key provisions of such contracts are limited. This can result in a critical lack of knowledge for governments as they try to negotiate the best terms for their citizens, and can result in missed opportunities to learn from others’ past successes or missteps.
ResourceContracts.org was developed to fill the knowledge gap by providing searchable contracts in machine-readable format with rich metadata and annotations to provide key insights into each contract. In order to make the content of these often lengthy documents more accessible, ResourceContracts.org has developed a rigorous approach to categorizing and annotating each contract’s social, environmental, human rights, fiscal, and operational terms. It is important to note that not all information about a project will be included in a contract, and additional obligations are often found in other parts of the legal framework, such as national laws and regulations.
The new ResourceContracts.org site is developed in partnership with the World Bank, the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. We are grateful for the contributions of a wide array of organizations including Global Witness, Oxfam, Publish What You Pay International, Open Oil, Open Contracting Partnership, Cadasta, The Carter Center, Open Corporates, African Mining Legislation Atlas, and the World Resources Institute, among others.
Young Innovations developed the site as an open source platform available for others to use under an open source license.
As the site grows, we are eager to hear from you if you have suggestions for oil, gas, and mining contracts to be added to the site. You can get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credits, home page: View from Entoto Mountain, Ethiopia (Arne Hoel/World Bank Photo Collection) Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée, Sangarédi, Guinée (RWI); Oil rig worker, Niger Delta, Nigeria (Ed Kashi)