Overview: The Energy Governance and Capacity Initiative (EGCI) is a U.S. Department of State-led, U.S. interagency effort to provide a wide range of technical and capacity building assistance to the host governments of select countries that are on the verge of becoming the world’s next generation of oil and gas producers. The countries receiving EGCI assistance have world class hydrocarbon resource potential and expect to receive sizable, near-term financial windfalls from the development of their oil and gas resources. EGCI’s core objective is to help these countries establish the capacity to manage their oil and gas sector resources responsibly. Although EGCI’s goals are country-specific in nature, the program broadly tries to ensure sound and transparent energy sector governance for the benefit of national economic development.
Managed by the Bureau of Energy Resources at the U.S. State Department, the EGCI program supports a broad range of U.S. foreign policy objectives and is tightly coordinated with our overall bilateral energy relationships. EGCI assistance complements other reform efforts, such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and aims to coordinate with and leverage the work of other donors to every extent possible. EGCI typically works in four areas of capacity-building:
• Technical: understanding the resource through the most appropriate technologies
• Financial: responsible management of revenues from the sector
• Legal: embedding international best practices into laws and regulations
• Environmental: protecting people and the environment from sector impacts
Government-to-Government Support: The EGCI program taps into the U.S. Government’s considerable in-house expertise and capabilities in order to provide assistance that is tailored to the specific needs of individual countries. A by-product of this government-to-government engagement is the potential for establishing long-term working relationships that will foster institutional stability and enhancement of the U.S. Government’s ability to further diplomacy on critical issues, such as promoting sound energy sector governance.
Capacity Building and Technical Assistance: The EGCI program taps into the U.S. Government’s considerable expertise and capabilities in order to provide assistance that is tailored to the specific needs of individual countries. A benefit of this government-to-government engagement is the potential for establishing long-term working relationships between sector experts that complement the U.S. Government’s diplomatic efforts to promote sound energy sector governance. U.S. Government agencies that provide technical assistance through EGCI include: the Department of Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM); the Department of Treasury’s Office of Technical Assistance (OTA); and the Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP).
Sample Programs and Activities: Examples of the types of programs and activities that EGCI undertakes in various countries include: workshops and seminars on leasing, revenue management and regulatory best practices for oil and gas sectors; in-country support for regulatory bodies to provide independent energy sector oversight and management; legal and technical guidance to support the implementation of reforms and policies that will create sustainability in the energy sector as well as a commercial environment conducive to attracting large scale investment; specialized assistance in oil and gas revenue sharing and distribution as well as in related financial and tax management; implementation of financial tracking systems and other measures to reduce corruption; technical training in oil and gas resource identification, resource assessment methodology, and best practices related to geological/geophysical data analysis and management; and capacity-building assistance to boost in-house technical and management skills within energy-related ministries and other governmental entities.