Bahah: Oil Mafia is no more [Archives:2007/1044/Local News]

April 23 2007

SANA'A, 21 April ) Minister of Oil, Gas and Mineral resources Khalid Bahah has stated that his ministry has reached new heights in terms of transparency and fighting corruption, he indicated that the measures implemented for the last eighteen months have exposed several tactics, which are the fuel and breed of what he labeled as the 'Oil Corruption', adding that each and every oil-related contract or agreement has to fulfill strict criteria ensuring transparency and maximizing the benefit for the country.

His Excellency pointed out that the adopted criteria compels companies and subcontractors, who want to take part in oil exploration and production activities, to go through a transparent bidding process in which the contracts are given to the most competitive bids. Also, he emphasized that the previous practice of giving such awards behind closed doors is no-more, adding that several measures have been taken against parties who have been involved in such practices.

In addition, he called on Oil Companies, which receive any memos and letters from the ministry or other affiliated agencies requesting favors and concessions, to contact his office and report such incidents. In the meantime, he asks for the cooperation of Oil companies so as to maintain high level of transparency in their dealings with the government.

Furthermore, he pointed out that Yemen has committed itself to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and his ministry is currently working towards the full implementation of the Initiative within the Oil Industry in Yemen, he said: “Transparency is important to us, as the oil is the 'possession' of the Yemeni people, who should know how much they are getting and how the money is spent.. We want to join the EITI initiative to show the Yemeni people and the international community how Yemen earns and spends its oil revenue”.

He also added: “we fought hard within the cabinet and against influential persons in order to make sure that Yemen will ultimately join the initiative, it is the right of the people to know everything about their oil, starting from bringing-in the Oil companies and ending to how the money is spent. We are now constructing a website in order to display this information in a great detail for everyone who wants to know”.

Minister Bahah made these statements while visiting Canadian Nexen Petrolum Yemen last thursday, during which he also discussed a number of topics with senior management and staff of the company.