Italy is one of the most attractive European countries to open a petroleum company in due to its oil and gas taxation regimes and the legislation regulating the oil and gas sector. Taking into consideration the involvement of the Government, the return on investment ration and the area to be explored, Italy provides a very advantageous corporate taxation system for oil and gas companies. Foreign investors are attracted by the country’s infrastructure and the Italian oil and gas reserves when considering establishing an oil and gas company.
In 2013, the Italian Government approved infrastructure development projects in order to attract more foreign investors in the petroleum industry by releasing the National Energy Regulator. The legislation also contains provisions about the reduction of imported oil and gas and the integration into the European single market in the energy sector. The new legislation is also meant to transform Italy in a major provider of natural gas for Southern Europe. The new National Energy Regulator also offers new incentives for petroleum companies in Italy.
Once a company is registered with the Italian Companies Registrar, it must also select the NACE code available for the type of activity to be undertaken. Petroleum companies may select in Section D, subsection DF, the following NACE codes:
For company registration, you can rely on our Italian lawyers.
Italian companies are required to obtain special licenses before starting to operate in the gas and oil sector, namely the exploration and/or the production license.
The first license to be obtained by an Italian petroleum company is the exploration one. Exploration licenses are issued by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development that will ask for a financial guarantee. The preliminary stage for obtaining an exploration license is based on the approval of an Environmental Impact Assessment report. Exploration licenses are granted for a six-year period of time with the possibility to be extended.
Production licenses for Italian petroleum companies are issued for 20 years and they can be extended for 10 years more, provided that the company submits proof of continued commerciality.
Due to the complexity of the licensing procedure, foreign investors are advised to contact an Italian law firm, when applying for an exploration or production license for a petroleum company.
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