This Technical Assistance Report discusses key findings of the assessment of Mali’s mining and petroleum taxation. It is highlighted that the transparency of the mining or petroleum sector in Mali could be improved through the online publication of agreements signed with operating companies and their feasibility studies. The establishment of a standardized framework for the economic analysis of mining and petroleum project feasibility studies would improve governance in the natural resources sector. It is also recommended to establish the ring-fencing principle in a revised Mining Code and in the draft Petroleum Code.
We present a simple model of petroleum exploration and development that can be applied to study the performance of alternative tax systems and identify potential distortions. Although the model is a highly simplified, it incorporates many factors and some of the key tradeoffs that would influence an investor’s investment behavior. The model recognizes the role of enhanced oil recovery and treats the impact of taxation on exploration and development in an integrated manner consistent with an investor’s joint optimization of investments at both stages of the process. The model is simple and user-friendly, which facilitates application to a broad range of problems.
The domestic taxation of petroleum products is an important source of revenue in most countries. However, there is a wide variation of tax rates on petroleum products across countries, which cannot be explained by economic theory alone. This paper surveys different considerations advanced for taxing petroleum and presents petroleum tax rate data in 120 countries. It concludes that a significant reduction in the present extremely wide variation in petroleum prices and tax rates appears warranted.