Oil & Gas Specifics
Why Extractive Industry Sourcebook? A User's Perspective
I, Mauro Amilton de Celestino Pedro, am a Legal Adviser born in Mozambique, the country where I completed (2012) my bachelors law degree (LLB, hons.); I completed (2013) my Masters of Law (LLM) at CEPMLP as a Rio Tinto Scholar. It was whilst at CEPMLP that I became aware of the EI Source Book project.
After finishing my LLM, I was invited to join Latham & Watkins LLP - London, after which I joined the firm Webber Wentzel. I continued to use the EI Source Book website throughout this period.
As of 2015 I am a Founding Consultant at SYNERGOS - an investment consultancy firm focused on the energy and extractive industries in Mozambique. SYNERGOS offers a core competency, amongst others, of linking international petroleum companies and investors with high quality opportunities and potential partners in Mozambique, thus enabling these companies to create shared benefit through their investments, avoiding the potential pitfall of unstable and inequitable enclave development.
I am very pleased to give my personal view on why the EI Source Book is needed in the first place, and the "challenge" that it seeks to thereby address. The extactives sector is replete with opportunities and the need to realise these for community benefit is central to my answer below:
Extractive resources are not renewable by nature, therefore, their discovery (which is often accompanied by euphoria and a lot of expectation on various levels) must be accompanied by a process of serious public management "Good Governance", focused on economic diversification and engagement models that prove to be effective, so that the existence of those resources are reflected in the real well-being of all citizens of the producing countries and their future generations. The extractive industries, with regard to its mining and petroleum exploitation related aspects, is a very specific and somewhat complex area which implies a concerted action of professionals of diverse backgrounds for the effective implementation of "Good Governance” practices in the sector, namely:
- the development of public and corporate policies;
- the establishment, implementation and updating of legal standards; and
- financial and socio-economic planning of producer countries.
These elements must be combined in a harmonious way, in order to allow the achievement of the so desired "Sustainable Development", which is the focus of EI Source Book Chapter 9, or in other words:
Achieving environmental, socio-political and economic (Triple Bottom Line) positive and balanced results that should be multiplied from generation to generation in both private and public levels, through the adequate exploitation of extractive resources.
Having said the above, access to credible sources of knowledge that provide a lens for understanding and interpreting the specifics of the extractive industry, is key for:
- governments and legislatures;
- lecturers, scholars and students;
- consultants and other professionals involved in the area;
- non-governmental organisations;
- members of local communities; and
- civil society in general.
The aim must be to contribute and/or provide the highest level of service to the conceptualization, production and implementation of guidelines, and creating, structuring and monitoring of public and private institutions, which together can facilitate better-decision making, with important implications for this industry.
The EI Source Book is undoubtedly a unique example of a collection of academic and professional-practice utility in the field of the extractive industry, and has been providing its users with valuable information and intelligence.
It should be stressed that activities related to the study/research, consulting and decision-making in general have "benchmarking” as a key point; and here, by benchmarking we mean the professional and academic technique used for the production of articles, reports and various opinions which is in fact a comparative exercise of various realities, in order to attain a suitable result in the case under study or analysis. Therefore, having access to reliable information is very important in this regard.