Local content requirements in oil and gas contracts: regional trends in the Middle East and North Africa

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Resource-rich countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, especially Gulf countries–Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)–are increasingly introducing local content requirements (LCRs) into their legal framework, through legislation, regulations, guidelines, industry contracts and bidding practices. Despite the clear and uniform overall policy drivers of LCRs in the MENA region, approaches taken to enforce LCRs vary and must be carefully understood and clarified to avoid misalignments and contractual mismatch between governments and international companies. This article examines how local content requirements have evolved in the MENA region. It provides a comparative analysis and profile of LCRs in MENA countries, in order to determine prevailing preferences and legal risk points. It concludes with recommendations on how investors and national authorities can evolve collaborative and achievable LCRs that minimise disputes and legal risks.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Energy and Natural Resources Law
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2018



  • local content
  • MENA
  • Middle East
  • North Africa
  • petroleum contracts
  • procurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Law

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