Global Petroleum Survey 2014

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offshore oil rigs

The Fraser Institute’s 8th annual survey of petroleum industry executives shows that barriers to investment in oil and gas exploration and production facilities in various jurisdictions around the globe include high tax rates, costly regulatory obligations, uncertainty over environmental regulations and the interpretation and administration of regulations, and concerns over political stability and security of personnel and equipment. A total of 710 respondents participated in the survey, providing sufficient data to evaluate 156 jurisdictions.

A Policy Perception Index captures investors’ perceptions on conditions affecting investment decisions and provides a comprehensive assessment of each jurisdiction. When considering policy independently from the size of a jurisdiction’s reserves, the 10 least attractive jurisdictions for investment (starting with the worst) are Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Iran, Russia—Eastern Siberia, Russia—Off shore Arctic, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa), and Turkmenistan. The 10 most attractive jurisdictions for investment worldwide are Oklahoma, Mississippi, Saskatchewan, Arkansas, Manitoba, Alabama, Kansas, Texas, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

Five jurisdictions saw considerable improvements over last year: French Guiana, Uruguay, Suriname, Guyana, and Romania. However, a substantial number of jurisdictions saw their barriers to investment increase significantly over the past year. Forty-one of the 156 jurisdictions had their scores deteriorate by 10 points or more. The biggest drops were for Nova Scotia, Yukon, Georgia (the country), Spain—Offshore, Kuwait, South Africa, Turkey, Spain—Onshore, Lebanon, Egypt, Tanzania, and Mali.

As in previous surveys, investors indicate that they continue to turn away from jurisdictions with onerous fiscal regimes, political instability, and land claim disputes. Similarly, investors prefer to avoid jurisdictions with costly, time-consuming uncertain regulations. Other factors being equal, competitive tax and regulatory regimes can attract investment and thus generate substantial economic benefits.

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