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DWF advises Pakistan International Oil Limited to explore petroleum and natural gas in Abu Dhabi

31 August 2021

DWF, the global provider of integrated legal and business services, has advised Pakistan International Oil Limited, a consortium of Oil & Gas Companies in Pakistan, in successfully winning the bid to explore petroleum and natural gas in Abu Dhabi. 

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) have, on behalf of, The Supreme Council for Financial and Economic Affairs (Government of Abu Dhabi), granted a concession to Pakistan International Oil Limited for the exploration of petroleum and natural gas in Offshore Block 5. This is the Emirate’s second competitive bidding round organised by ADNOC for the exploration, development and production of oil and gas. The historic agreement builds on the deep-rooted bilateral relationship between the UAE and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.   

DWF assisted the client in reviewing and advising on all concession agreements and documents provided by ADNOC in the bidding round, along with assisting the consortium partners to negotiate and agree the shareholders agreement and setting up of the entity in the ADGM, Pakistan International Oil Limited in Abu Dhabi, a company that is fully owned by the Pakistani consortium members: Pakistan Petroleum Limited; Oil and Gas Development Company Limited; Mari Petroleum Limited; and Government Holdings (Private) Limited. This is the first time that a foreign fully owned subsidiary has been licensed by the ADGM to conduct oil and gas activities in the UAE. 

DWF was also involved in highlighting the key legal and commercial issues arising out of such transaction along with assisting with all closing steps to achieve execution of the concession documents, including the rendering of legal opinions and liaising with local counsel.

The DWF team was led by Umera Ali (Partner) and Slava Kiryushin (Partner) and supported by Aisha Gondal (Director), Aurangzeb Maqsood (Senior Associate), Zainab Muhammad (Senior Associate), Elena Mytnik-Gonta (Senior Associate), Alina Akhmetova (Associate) and Jawad Elazar (Paralegal).

Umera Ali, commented, "It was a pleasure working on this significant deal and acting for the Consortium. This is the first time a Pakistani owned entity has been chosen to develop an oil and gas infrastructure project in the UAE. It is also a milestone transaction as it is the first time foreign companies have been allowed to incorporate a fully owned subsidiary to conduct upstream oil and gas work. Our knowledge and expertise and the ability to cut through complexities enabled us to work diligently and bring this transaction to a successful close." 

Slava Kiryushin, commented, "The complexity and strategical importance of this deal cannot be understated. Despite this, our experience in oil and gas matters meant that the team was ready to handle all aspects of the transaction and bring it to a successful close. I am very proud of the work we have done. It is another example of how a multi-jurisdictional team (working through at least 3 different jurisdictions) and efficient project management and resourcing adds real value to our clients. We are grateful to have worked with all of the consortium members through this difficult deal."  

Ali Jaffar, Acting General Manager (Legal & Commercial) and Company Secretary, Pakistan Petroleum Limited, said, "The role of DWF, the counsel for the Consortium cannot be understated in the successful closure of this transaction. From the very inception, Slava Kiryushin and his team immensely helped us in submission of a successful bid and in various negotiation rounds of the concession documentation. This was followed up by very able assistance by Umera Ali and her team in helping us set up a company in the ADGM, obtain myriad approvals and navigate to successful closure, all while meeting exceedingly tight timelines." 

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