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Title: Environmental disclosure in the Libyan oil and gas sector
Author: Aldrugi, A. M.
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2013
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Since 1990, interest in environmental disclosure (ED) has grown, and it is now seen as one of the most important types of social disclosure (Islam et al., 2005). This attention has not come out of the blue; as environmental costs rise year on year, it has become increasingly important to disclose these costs, as they can significantly impact upon the decisions made by the users of financial statements. This is especially important in light of the fierce competition between local and global companies. Concerned investors have therefore started to press for environmental information to be disclosed in companies’ annual reports. The vast majority of studies in the field of ED have so far focused on developed territories such as Western Europe, America and Australia, neglecting developing countries. The present study is motivated by the lack of research in developing countries in general and Libya in particular. It is an empirical investigation into the ED practices of oil and gas companies operating in Libya. This study is the first to explore ED practices in the oil and gas sector in Libya. This sector, which is considered one of the most polluting industrial sectors, accounts for 70% of Libyan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 98% of the country’s exports (Central Bank of Libya, 2009a). The main objectives of the present study are to identify the current state of ED, as described in the accounting literature, to observe how it is represented in the annual reports of oil companies operating in Libya, and to investigate the determinants of and reasons for ED. In addition, the study attempts to clarify the influence of company characteristics on ED. The aim is to contribute to current knowledge by addressing the shortage of studies on ED in developing countries. To achieve these objectives, three data collection methods were employed: questionnaires, content analysis and interviews. The results show that almost all companies provide some environmental information, although reports contain more positive and neutral than negative information. The respondents agreed strongly that some of the proposed drivers do indeed motivate companies to disclose environmental information, but they rejected others (see Table 6-10). When it came to identifying the obstacles that prevent companies from disclosing environmental information, local companies were consistent in accepting most of the proposed elements as barriers to ED, whereas a number of these elements were rejected by foreign companies (see Table 6-17). It was apparent that although some environmental rules and regulations do exist, they are not applied fully and control of ED is still weak. There is a significant positive association between level of ED and company size, company privatisation and company nationality. The investigation provides further evidence that these characteristics are important and have an impact on the level of ED. On the other hand, the age of the company is insignificant; it is negatively related to the level of ED.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available