BHP Billiton is the world's largest diversified metals company, producing oil, coal, iron ore, copper, aluminium, uranium and diamonds. In 2010 it attained a profit of $13bn. Its corporate structure is complex, controlling 462 subsidiaries, 20% of which are incorporated in 'High Opacity' nations or states, where legal obstacles impede the ability to investigate payments and production figures.
Hiding a fifth of its taxes secret
Piping Profits, published Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Norway in 2011, revealed that BHP Billiton holds 20% of its 462 subsidiaries in 'High Opacity' nations or states such as the US state of Delaware, the Netherlands or Bermuda. PWYP defines Secrecy Jurisdictions as: "places where among many other advantages for companies requiring secrecy, company accounts and beneficial ownership details are not publicly available."
This information [of EITI] is useful for holding governments to account but is insufficient to gain
a true and accurate picture of the operations of the profit generating elements within an
This is because no one outside senior executives within EICs – and perhaps the politicians
and officials where resources are extracted – can be certain:
1) how much oil, gas or minerals a particular subsidiary owns;
2) how much oil, gas or minerals it has produced in any given year;
3) how much revenue and profits it makes;
4) how much tax and royalties it pays; or
5) what investment and other incentives it enjoys.
Until now it has never been established how many subsidiaries the world’s biggest EICs own and where they are based. It has also never been fully appreciated how many EIC subsidiaries are located in jurisdictions where it is hard, if not impossible, to gauge a financial understanding of these conduits – so-called Secrecy Jurisdictions.
It is important to understand the entire operational picture of an EIC in order to determine whether it is acting in line with socially accepted corporate accountabilitynorms or standards that the EIC has pledged to meet.
Board of Directors Feb 2012
- Jacques Nasser
- Marius Kloppers
- Malcolm Broomhead
- Sir John Buchanan
- Carlos Cordeiro
- David Crawford
- Carolyn Hewson
- Lindsay Maxsted
- Wayne Murdy
- Keith Rumble
- Dr John Schubert
- Baroness Shriti Vadera 
See SourceWatch BHP Billiton
- Address: BHP Billiton Limited
- BHP Billiton Centre
- 180 Lonsdale Street
- Melbourne Victoria 3000
- Phone: (61) 1300 55 47 57
- Fax: (61 3) 9609 3015
- UK Corporate Address:
- BHP Billiton Plc
- Neathouse Place
- London SW1V 1BH
- United Kingdom
- Phone: (44 20) 7802 4000
- Fax: (44 20) 7802 4111