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Transport and storage

Legal framework

What is the general legal framework governing the transportation and storage of oil and gas resources in your jurisdiction?

Transportation and storage of crude oil is regulated at the federal level and by codes of practice established by each emirate. Federally, the responsible authorities are the Ministry of Energy and Industry and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. The United Arab Emirates has no federal framework with respect to natural gas transport and storage. 


How is cross-border transportation of oil and gas resources regulated?

While no specific laws govern marine and ground transportation of oil and gas resources, provisions of various laws are relevant. For example, Federal Law No 24 of 1999 (Protection and Development of the Environment) prohibits pollution from marine and ground transport and necessitates measures to protect the environment.

The United Arab Emirates has ratified numerous international treaties which are relevant to marine and ground transportation. These include the Basel Convention on Hazardous Waste, the Convention on Marine Pollution by Dumping Waste and Other Matters, the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity, among others. The focus of such treaties is largely on the protection of the environment and limitation of pollution.

In Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (ADNOC) Petroleum Port Authority is responsible for the supervision of port activity, the application of international legislation and the testing and approval of marine personnel, vessels and facilities. 

Are there specific provisions governing marine and ground transportation of oil and gas resources?

There are no federal laws specifically governing the cross-border transportation of oil and gas.

Gas is imported to Taweelah, Abu Dhabi from Qatar by the Dolphin Gas Pipeline. From Taweelah, gas is distributed to other parts of the United Arab Emirates and Oman using the Eastern Gas Distribution System, the Al Ain-Fujairah Pipeline and the Taweelah-Fujairah Pipeline.

The Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline (Habshan-Fujairah pipeline) transports crude oil extracted from ADNOC’s onshore operations to Fujairah. Petroleum exports from Abu Dhabi are handled by the Jebel Dhana, Ruwais, Umm Al-Nar, Das Island and Zirku Island terminals. 

Construction and infrastructure

How are the construction and operation of pipelines, storage facilities and related infrastructure regulated?

The ruler of each emirate owns the land within the boundaries of such emirate. As such, rights to construct pipelines, storage facilities and related infrastructure must be granted by the ruler of the applicable emirate. In the event of cross-emirate infrastructure (eg, the Dolphin pipeline), the federal ministries coordinate the implementation of such projects under the guidelines of national policies and strategies. 

What rules govern third-party access to pipelines and related infrastructure?

Each emirate regulates access to pipelines and related infrastructure and may give access to third parties pursuant to concession or commercial agreements.

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