(Abu Dhabi) Law No. 8 of 1978 - The Conservation of Petroleum Resources Law

Last updated: 15 February 2022

This is the primary legislation regulating oil and gas operations in the Emirate. It states that the Supreme Petroleum Council formulates and oversees the implementation of Abu Dhabi's petroleum policy and follows up its implementation across all areas of the petroleum industry.


The law covers all upstream petroleum operations. It requires the industry to use the most reliable technological methods as well as equipment and materials that adhere to international standards, both in terms of safety and efficiency. Moreover, construction of facilities requires prior approval, including the submission of comprehensive studies and technical and economic assessments. All exploration activities also require prior authorisation. 

Associated gas must be either used on site, delivered to the local authorities or re-injected.  Flaring is only allowed if it is not possible to re-inject, and require the prior written consent of government.


This legislation includes specific provisions for drilling, completing, reworking and abandoning of wells, including minimum requirements and reporting obligations. 


Moreover, an operator is under the obligation to submit monthly production reports for each producing well, including daily production levels, oil-gas ratios, wellhead pressure, as well as sediment and water content.  


The law also requires that businesses take all necessary measures to prevent air and water pollution and control any remaining impacts from their activities.  

Want to know more about this policy ? Learn more (Arabic)