Oil and gas company setup in Abu Dhabi | PRO Partner Group

Oil and gas company setup in Abu Dhabi | PRO Partner Group

- Jade Wong

How to set up an oil and gas company in Abu Dhabi

With the return of ADIPEC to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, this article examines the requirements for setting up an oil and gas company in the capital and outlines the role of ADNOC and the Supreme Petroleum Council within the process.

Since the first event in 1984, ADIPEC has grown to become one of the largest oil and gas exhibitions in the world.

It brings together 150,000 global energy leaders, policymakers, innovators and industry professionals to create a unique event that not only showcases thousands of products, services and solutions across the entire energy value chain, but also offers a great opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing and an ideal platform from which to launch and promote an oil and gas company in the capital.

But what are the requirements for setting up an oil and gas company in Abu Dhabi?

This article summarises the process of company incorporation in Abu Dhabi and the key approvals that are required for an oil and gas company.

Setting Up a Business in Abu Dhabi

Establishing any business in Abu Dhabi typically involves the following key steps:

Step 1: Determine the legal form and activities of the business

Step 2: Register the trade name and obtain the initial approval

Step 3: Arrange an office lease

Step 4: Apply for a trade licence and regulatory approvals

Step 5: Obtain the DED Trade Licence

Step 6: Register the Company with Labour and Immigration

Step 7: Open a business bank account

Step 8: Apply for employee visas

In addition to the above, any investors wishing to establish an oil and gas company in Abu Dhabi and partner with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), must obtain Supreme Petroleum Council Approval (SPC Approval).

The Supreme Petroleum Council

Established under law No. (1) in 1988, the Supreme Petroleum Council is the senior authority for the regulation of the petroleum industry in Abu Dhabi. It is responsible for formulating and overseeing the successful implementation of the Emirate’s petroleum policy and assumes responsibility as the board of directors for ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) and the petrol department, which uphold the provision of Law No. (8) of 1978 relating to the preservation of the oil industry in Abu Dhabi. All operating companies or foreign shareholders of oil enterprises in the emirate must abide by the provisions of this law.

Obtaining Supreme Petroleum Council Approval (SPC Approval - Oil & Gas)

Supreme Petroleum Council Approval (SPC Approval) is mandatory for any business wishing to operate, in any capacity, within the oil and gas sector in Abu Dhabi. Once approval has been obtained, it appears on a business’ Trade Licence as an additional activity: “Onshore and Offshore Oil & Gas Field & Facilities Services”.

For businesses wishing to access oil fields, Supreme Petroleum Council Approval is also required in order to obtain the relevant permits from the Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA), previously known as CNIA (Critical National Infrastructure Authority).

ADNOC Vendor registration

Any companies that wish to work with ADNOC and be considered for any tendering opportunities must first register on the ADNOC supplier list.

Opportunities to partner with ADNOC are heavily in demand, therefore the selection process is very competitive and there are several things that must be taken into consideration before beginning the registration process.

The business will require a mainland Abu Dhabi DED licence. This can be in the form of an LLC or foreign branch

The company will need to have Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) approval, and this should be reflected on the company trade licence

The activities listed on the licence must match the services and products you intend to provide to ADNOC. It is advisable to review the work/product list provided by ADNOC and match that to the activities on the company trade licence.

Documents required

The following documents are necessary for ADNOC vendor registration:

• Company Trade Licence

• VAT Registration details (TRN Number), company size, number of employees, address.

• Financial Audit from the past 2 x years (if applicable)

• ISO Certification

• Ministry of Labour list of all Abu Dhabi employees, including an Organisation chart.

• Ownership details (of all shareholders and UBOs)

• Management information and contact details

Registration process

• Register and activate SAP Ariba Account number to provide access to ADNOC Commercial Directory.

• ADNOC Registration accessed via Ariba account number.

(All company documents and information details are required at this stage and to be submitted)

• 1 week for submission to be reviewed by ADNOC. If successful, ADNOC will then call to proceed to the Pre-Qualification Stage.

• Pre-Qualification – You will need to provide examples of 3 projects and further technical information may be requested on your products or services.

• Acceptance - If you pass through pre-qualification, you will then be visible on ADNOCs Supplier list.

How can PRO Partner Group help?

The process of gaining SPC approval and registering as an ADNOC supplier can be very lengthy and complicated, and incomplete documentation or errors made during the application process may result in delays and even loss of business opportunities.

PRO Partner Group have in depth knowledge of business practices in the UAE and close connections with key government departments. We can support you though the process of setting up your oil and gas company in Abu Dhabi and help you obtain SPC approval and ADNOC registration. If you need assistance on this or any other related company set up, restructuring or local partner matter in the UAE and wider Gulf region, do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at info@ppg.ae or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.

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