Oil and gas in Argentina

Martínez de Hoz & Rueda

The 'undoubted reference point of the sector', Martínez de Hoz & Rueda is the market leader in the energy sector's oil and gas segment, advising key industry players on all aspects of  hydrocarbons exploration, production, transportation, distribution and marketing. The practice has enormous experience in oil and gas transactions of all types (including M&A), regulatory issues, and dispute resolution, as well as contract origination and renegotiation. It is also at the forefront of developing areas such as green hydrogen as the industry confronts energy transition. Given this specialisation the firm maintains an office in Neuquén (the only major law firm to do so) and also has an international practice focused on hydrocarbons projects and transnational gas pipelines (and associated contracts), involving across the region. The 12-strong practice is led by a trio of partners - all 'respected professionals of the highest level'. Senior partner José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz (a 'guarantee of reliability and expertise') advises on the largest projects, transactions, contract negotations and disputes in the oil and gas area, and is also a member of the ICC's International Court of Arbitration. He co-leads the group with Pablo Rueda, whose broad transactional and regulatory energy practice spans oil, gas and electricity (including renewables), as does that of Tomás Lanardonne, head of the Vaca Muerta office, who also handles associated arbitral and litigious matters. Marcos Blanco and Valeria Celesti are noted among the group of 'responsive' 'young associates that complement the senior lawyers and partners very well',

Practice head(s):

José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz; Pablo Rueda; Tomás Lanardonne

Testimonials

‘Great knowledge of the oil and gas practice in Argentina’.

‘Leaders in the sector, very good responsiveness due to having a team of young associates that complement the senior lawyers and partners very well’.

‘Deep knowledge of the Argentine oil & gas market, participating in many transactions for more than twenty years’.

‘The MHR firm is undoubtedly the most prestigious and respected in energy matters in Argentina. They are the undoubted reference point of the sector. Years of hard work have built a leadership position difficult to beat by the competition’.

‘Excellent relationship with the client. Professionalism and permanent predisposition’.

‘Good balance in the team (diversity), collaboration and operational capacity. They are undoubtedly the benchmark in the sector’.

‘José Martinez de Hoz, Pablo Rueda and Tomás Lanardonne are respected professionals of the highest level’.

‘It is the team with the longest experience in O&G matters in Argentina. The leadership of José Martinez de Hoz is a guarantee of reliability and expertise’.

Key clients

Axion Energy Argentina

CAPEX

Centaurus Energy

Chesapeake Energy Corporation

Chevron Corporation / Chevron Argentina

Compañía MEGA

Compañía de Hidrocarburo No Convencional

Delta Patagonia

Dow Chemical Company

Equinor

ExxonMobil Exploration Argentina

Gasoducto Atacama Chile

International Financial Corporation

Mitsui

Oleoductos del Valle

Pan American Energy Group

Petroquímica Comodoro Rivadavia

Phoenix Global Resources

President Petroleum

Refinor

Saipem

Schlumberger Production Management

ShearwaterGeo Seismic Services

Shell

Sinopec Argentina Exploration and Production

Petroquimica Comodoro Rivadavia

Total Austral

Trafigura Group

Transportadora Gas del Sur

United States Development Finance Corporation

Wintershall DEA Argentina

YPF

Work highlights

  • Represented Chevron Corporation in a longstanding suit against Chevron in Argentina seeking the enforcement of an Ecuadorian court award of $9.5bn for alleged environmental damages in Ecuador.
  • Representing Chevron Argentina, Capex, Total Austral (Argentine branch), Compañía de Hidrocarburo No Convencional and Petroquímica Comodoro Rivadavia in separate legal actions challenging Federal Decree No. 488/20, enacted in May 2020.
  • Advised Argentina’s state-owned oil company YPF on the sale of a working interest in the Bandurria Sur hydrocarbons block in the Vaca Muerta shale formation.

Bomchil

Bomchil’s November-2020 incorporation of former, longstanding energy-boutique Alliani & Bruzzon is a win-win combination of industry-sector expertise and the resources of a full-service firm. The deeply experienced oil-and-gas team has experience throughout exploration, production, transportation and refining, and is also active in the gas segment and in mining matters. Former name-partner Pablo Alliani is practice head of the new department; a well-known and highly-regarded industry figure, he primarily advises on regulatory matters, hydrocarbons contracts and M&A activity in the sector. Fellow partners Fernando Brunelli and Cristian Galansky focus on transactional matters and the full-range of oil and gas contracts; and contentious energy matters (arbitral and litigious), respectively; while former of counsel Alejandro D’Onofrio brings particular expertise in mining (as well as his oil and gas know-how). The groups arrived with a small team of associates ensuring that the firm can now field a 16-strong team which can also call on the experience of administrative law partner María Inés Corrá in gas disputes and of Fermín Caride in energy-sector financings.

Practice head(s):

Pablo Alliani

Testimonials

‘It is a team with a long history and recognition in the industry’.

‘It stands out from the competition because of the qualifications and commitment of the team’.

‘A business-oriented approach and your technical and legal knowledge of the tasks’.

‘In particular I highlight Pablo Alliani and Fernando Brunelli’.

‘This team is above many competitors in what fundamentally does the knowledge of the market and the business of the oil and gas industry’

‘Human, technical and professional quality make them stand out’

Key clients

Chevron

PanAmerican Energy

Equinor

DLS Archer

Refinor

AES

Petrobras

CGC

Varel International

Bureau Veritas

CNOOC

Desler/Ecopolo

Wintershall DEA Argentina

Work highlights

  • Advised Chevron Argentina and Compañía de Hidrocarburo No Convencional (Company of Unconventional Hydrocarbons) for their defense against the Province of Neuquén due to claims and penalties imposed to them in relation to the regime of the National Decree No. 488/2020 (Criollo Barrel).
  • Advised Pan American Energy (Argentine Branch) in the dispute held with Madalena Energy Argentina due to the non-compliance of the latter with its obligations under a joint venture agreement (contrato de unión transitoria).
  • Regularly advice to CGC regarding its financial and capital market transactions.

Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi

Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi focuses on the generation and development of large E&P upstream companies with interests in the development of unconventional hydrocarbons in Argentina. YPF is a new client, joining industry players including Vista Oil & Gas and Equinor Argentina on the firm's roster. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the practice has also been increasingly active in contractual and commercial negotiations and renegotiations. A ‘real expert on legal matters related to the oil industry, especially in the Argentine environment’, Javier Rodríguez Galli leads the practice with key support from a group of primarily corporate-side senior associates: Santiago Balbi, Matías Leguizamón and Nicolás Dulce. Recent matters saw the firm advise Vista Oil & gas Argentina on a $250m investment agreement with Trafigura Argentina for the joint development of 20 oilwells in the Bajada del Palo Oeste block.

Practice head(s):

Javier Rodríguez Galli

Testimonials

‘Availability to work on complex issues with very demanding delivery times’

‘My first experience with Bruchou Fernandez Madero & Lombardi was in 2020. I was pleasantly surprised by their quick ability to analyse, understand and answer complex questions’

‘Very good understanding of the times and customer needs, so that your product is as expected in the expected time’.

‘BFM & L has adapted itself to be very responsive in the decentralized Covid-19 environment’.

‘Javier Rodríguez Galli is a real expert on legal matters related to the oil industry, especially in the Argentine environment’.

Key clients

YPF

Vista Oil & Gas

Equinor Argentina

Petronas Argentina

Aleph Midstream

Work highlights

  • Advised YPF on the termination of its LNG vessel charter-and-services agreement with Exmar (triggered by the extraordinary circumstances of the covid-19 pandemic and collapse in LNG prices) involving a $140m settlement deal.
  • Advised Equinor Argentina on its $350m joint acquisition (with Shell) of a 49% participating interest in Bandurria Sur oilfield in Vaca Muerta.
  • Advised Vista Oil and Gas on its $37.5m acquisition of Aleph Midstream.

Marval O’Farrell Mairal

Particularly known for its natural-gas expertise, Marval O’Farrell Mairal is active across the spectrum of upstream and downstream oil and gas issues. The firm provides a full service in the area that covers large litigation, regulatory advice and transactional matters, representing buyers and sellers. Another forte for the practice is cross-border work, where the practice advises leading hydrocarbon players in local and international matters. HIghly-regarded and with over 20 years' experience, Francisco MacÍas specialises in oil and gas transactions, contracts and regulatory matters. He co-heads the 15-strong practice group with transactional and financing expert Ricardo Beller; he too has over 20 years' experience and a longstanding focus on oil and gas matters. The pair can also call on the expertise of senior figure, of counsel Arturo Pera, a former head of legal at Total and vice-president of the Argentine Association of Energy Law and Mineral Resources. At associate level, key support comes from the 'excellent' Jimena Montoya, who 'always goes above and beyond'; and experienced banking and finance practitioner Agustina Ranieri, who undertakes financing matters in the sector.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Macías; Ricardo Beller

Testimonials

‘Professional skill and knowledge, timely answers and appropriate explanations’

‘The attention to projects from start to finish is excellent’.

‘In this year of pandemic, they have also made good use of the use of technology’.

‘Jimena Montoya always goes above and beyond what she is asked and she is an excellent lawyer. She, along with Francisco Macias, takes the projects from beginning to end and not only in the legal aspect. They understand what the customer wants’.

Key clients

Exxon Mobil / Exxon

Royal Dutch Shell / Raízen Argentina

Compañía Mega

Corporación América / Compañia General de Combustibles (CGC)

BP

Engie (formerly, GDF Suez)

Total

Petrobras

Transportadora de Gas del Sur (TGS) / Compañía de Inversiones de Energía (CIESA)

Schlumberger Argentina

Archer Well

Trafigura

Dow

Vitol

Gasoducto Nor Andino

Gasoducto GasAndes

Litoral Gas

Tullow Oil

ENI

Searcher Seismic

TGS / Spectrum

Roch

Tecpetrol

Capetrol

Sumitomo

High Luck Group

Work highlights

  • Advising distribution utility Litoral Gas in connection with the freezing and renegotiation of its tariffs.
  • Advising Tullow Oil on its participation in the Argentine off-shore bid round no. 1, in which it was awarded exploration permits in the Malvinas Oeste Basin.
  • Advising Tecpetrol on a federal lawsuit and other measures to be taken following the Federal Government’s unilateral reinterpretation of the rules governing the subsidy programme for the client’s natural gas project in Vaca Muerta, Fortín de Piedra, and its participation in Gas Plan IV.

Baker McKenzie

Handling the full range of oil-and-gas transactions throughout the entire value chain, Baker McKenzie works from upstream to downstream, including E&P, services, distribution and trading. The office has a particular niche in offshore operations and surveying, maintains a strong presence in the industry's service-sector and is also experienced in regulatory advice. Managing partner Adolfo Durañona handles commercial agreements, major projects and M&A in the sector, and is also particularly engaged in upstream matters - both on and offshore. He co-leads the team with Roberto Grané, who is known for transactional, corporate and regulatory advice, as is fellow partner Ezequiel Artola, who works across the mining, oil and gas, energy, renewables and infrastructure segments. Raised to the partnership in July 2021, Santiago Maqueda handles regulatory and administrative matters across the retail, infrastructure and other regulated sectors, including contentious issues. The team can also call on a local associate group with strength in commercial, compliance and tax matters, as well as the firms wider international network.

Practice head(s):

Adolfo Durañona; Roberto Grané

Testimonials

‘Great specific knowledge of a subject such as the overlapping of rights that is not usual in the industry’.

‘Extensive industry and regulatory knowledge and attention to business’

‘Baker always presents balanced groups from a gender perspective. There are always women involved in jobs. They also offer technological and support aspects that other firms do not have. For example, in addition to being present from the aspect of legal news and during the pandemic with resources related to COVID, they offer us resources such as on-line courses more oriented to management and leadership for our team’.

‘The experience, knowledge of the industry and availability of the entire team’

‘Adolfo Durañona has great experience in addition to being involved in the issues and always giving a practical approach’.

‘Roberto Grane has great availability, attentive to details, giving concrete and simple answers to complex issues’.

‘Ezequiel Artola stands out for giving clear and practical answers, always aimed at solving issues with a pro-business perspective’.

‘Excellent practice with dedication and experience’

Key clients

Spectrum

Nabors

Impact Fluids Solutions

Energicon

Ecostim Energy Solutions

Weatherford

Bunge Argentina

Superior Energy

Wellbore Integrity Solutions

Hellmerich & Pane

Work highlights

  • Assisted Ecostim with the restructuring of its operations in the country; the Covid-19 pandemic effectively induced a collapse in oil prices resulting in the termination of several of the company’s service contracts and undermining its sustainability (eventually causing Ecostim’s bankruptcy in the US).
  • Advising Spectrum in relation to its offshore operations in Argentina, including a request for offshore seismic permits in the Austral Marine Basin, Malvinas Marine Basin and Shallow Waters Area.
  • Advised Rhone Capital’s Wellbore Integrity Solutions on a local assets-transfer -involving real estate, equipment, vehicles, agreements and employees- as part of the firm’s handling of the global $400m acquisition (involving more than 25 jurisdictions) of the businesses and associated assets of DRILCO, Thomas Tools, and Fishing & Remedial Services from Schlumberger.

Bazán Cambré & Orts

Representing local and multinational companies, well-known enregy boutique Bazán Cambré & Orts advises on transactional, regulatory and contentious matters in the oil and gas sector. The firm has particular expertise in upstream work, as well as oilfield-services matters. Oil and gas specialists Mario Orts and Nicolás Dilernia are the key names in the team.

Beccar Varela

Beccar Varela's multidisciplinary practice has a ‘great track record in hydrocarbons' legal issues in Argentina’, as well as providing ‘knowledge and professionalism in its concepts issued and procedures carried out’. The team represents clients across all stages of the industry, including exploration, upstream, downstream and service suppliers, offshore projects and energy-use efficiency initiatives, and is very experienced in sector-specific agreements such as farm-ins/outs, production sharing, joint ventures, EPC and operating agreements; it also advises on bidding processes, the drafting of concession agreement and the renegotiating of concession contracts. On the regulatory front, it works at both national and provincial levels, as well as on cross-border deals, and assisting with market entry strategies. With 20 years as a partner at the firm, José Carlos Cueva is an all-round energy-expert (electricity, renewables, oil and gas) with tremendous experience; he co-leads the team with finance specialist Roberto Fortunati, who has ‘extensive experience in oil and gas’ and additionally, an ‘excellent advisor’ on company dynamics, having spent time in house at Amoco Oil Company, among others. Senior associate Gonzalo Viña can also count on in house experience (at Petroquimica Comodoro Rivadavia), and focuses on natural resources and energy law as well as having experience in dispute resolution and corporate law matters. The practice was further strengthened in March 2021 with the arrival of Ricardo Castañeda, former head of legal at YPF Luz, who brings expertise in M&A, corporate, project finance and energy law. However, former senior associate Lucila Parodi moved inhouse at Livent in February 2021.

Practice head(s):

Roberto Fortunati; José Carlos Cueva

Testimonials

‘The Beccar Varela team solves all our legal problems and in my experience in a faster and more efficient way than other law firms’.

‘Speed, efficiency, they are available at any time and they solve any type of problem that we are facing’.

‘Roberto Fortunati is the partner in charge, with extensive experience in Oil & Gas, of great help not only in legal matters but he is an excellent advisor in the dynamics of the company’.

‘They have a multidisciplinary team of lawyers that has a great track record in hydrocarbon legal issues in Argentina’.

‘Their response times are excellent and they demonstrate great knowledge and professionalism in their concepts issued and procedures carried out’.

Key clients

Quintana E&P Argentina

YPF

Petróleos Sudamericanos

Patterson UTI Energy

Raizen Argentina

Quintana WellPro

Italgas

Trafigura / Puma Energy

ENAP Sipetrol

American Energy Partner

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice to Quintana E&P Argentina on a daily basis regarding its E&P activities in the concession areas “Anticlinal Aguada de Bandera” and “Sur Río Deseado Este”, located in the Province of Santa Cruz.
  • Advised Italgas and the Renda family on their $23m acquisition from Raízen Argentina and Raízen Energina of all shares in Raízen Gas (formerly Shell Gas), which is dedicated to the fractionation and commercialization of liquid gas from petroleum.
  • Assisted Patterson UTI Energy with its participation in different tender processes called by YPF, Wintershall, and Pan American Energy aimed at contracting a drilling company to render drilling services in oil and gas concession areas, as well as negotiating amendments to the drilling service agreements proposed by the other parties.

Mitrani Caballero & Ruiz Moreno Abogados

As well as ‘great knowledge of the law industry’, Mitrani Caballero & Ruiz Moreno Abogados has a ‘high level of contacts that allows it to understand legal requirements and anticipate responses’. The practice advises domestic and foreign clients across the spectrum of oil and gas issues, with key strengths being structuring upstream assignments, farm-outs and downstream corporate M&A, as well as assisting midstream developers construct infrastructure pipelines. The firm is also recommended for the ‘flexibility it has had to work in the times of pandemic’. Team leader Mariana Ardizzone combines ‘excellent service, promptness and good availability’, with ‘great knowledge of the industry’. Other key figures in the practice group include María Recondo, whose practice straddles corporate matters and energy and natural resources - her prior experience includes time at both Tecpetrol and YPF; and Horacio Ruiz Moreno, who heads the firm's administrative law and business regulation practice - he has acted as the statutory controller of entities such as Ecogas, Gas Natural Ban and Transportadora de Gas del Sur. On the corporate and finance fronts, Julio Martínez has deep knowledge of transactional and financing matters across the entire energy sector, as does Diego Parise (who led on Raízen's $950m acquisition of Shell's downstream assets back in 2018), while Aixa Sureda is more fully focused on energy sector M&A.

Practice head(s):

Mariana Ardizzone

Testimonials

‘They have extensive experience and know all the details of paperwork and bureaucracy, and they also have a high level of contacts that allow them to understand legal requirements and anticipate responses’.

‘Remote work with clients like us has always been a strong suit and now in the pandemic it has proven much more useful’.

‘The willingness to help and the quality of the service based on its knowledge is exceptional, I would always recommend them’.

‘Excellent attention, fast and good availability. Great knowledge of the law industry’.

‘I think the flexibility they have had to work in times of pandemic is excellent. Additionally, they have been recognized in the past as a firm within the Best Place to Work ranking for women’.

In oil & gas, Mariana Ardizzone should be highlighted: Excellent service, promptness and good availability. Great knowledge of the industry and the area of law’.

Key clients

BPC

Delta Plus Oil & Gas

Southern Cross

High Luck Group

Endriven

Echo Energy

Geopark Limited

Novum Energy Trading Corp

Raizen Combustiveis

Tecpetrol / Americas Petrogas

Argentina

Oil Field Services

Antivari

Chevron Argentina

ENI/AGIP

Work highlights

  • Assisted Echo Energy with the restructuring of its farm-in position into an option to re-enter a subpart of the Tapi Aike Exploration Permit.
  • Advised Southern Cross Group on winding down its stake in Aleph Midstream.
  • Assistted BPC negotiate a production sharing contract for the Uruguay OFF-1 offshore block.

Nicholson y Cano Abogados

Nicholson y Cano Abogados has an established reputation in oil and gas matters having participated in a number of novel mandates in the sector, including the first joint ventures and financings in shale segment (Loma Campana and El Orejano) and the structuring of Aleph as the first independent midstream company in Argentina. The practice advises throughout the energy supply chain from upstream (where its clients include YPF, Quatar Petroleum, Chevron and BP), midstream (Aleph, TGS), downstream (YPF, BP Castrol, Raizen, Trafigura) and in the oil-services segment (Schlumberger Group, Perez Companc Energía). Practice heads Nicolás Perkins and Marcelo Lamesa have extensive experience of the energy sector -particularly matters such as farm in and farm out contracts, asset acquisition and the assignment of concession rights- and work into the sector from the corporate and banking/finance sides, respectively. Mariana Guzian is the third partner in the core team and she too has a corporate and energy sector profile. In addition, the team can also call on supplementary practice areas including its long-established environmental practice (under the leadership of Horacio Payá), and its unique business and human rights practice (under the leadership of Alfredo Vitolo); as well as labour, litigation, tax and antitrust.

Practice head(s):

Marcelo Lamesa; Nicolás Perkins

Key clients

HSBC Bank

AESA

Chevron

Raízen

Riverstone Holdings

Aleph Midstream

YPF

Shell

Qatar Petroleum International

Trafigura

Petronas Lubricants

Pluspetrol

Total

BP Castrol

Schlumberger Group

TGS

Quanta Services

Rosen Engineering

Refinería del Norte

New Times/High Luck Group Limited

Pecom Servicios Energía

Work highlights

  • Advised Aleph Midstream on a range of matters concerning its commercial relations with Vista Oil and Gas, including its oil pipeline use-operation-and-maintenance agreement; its transition, construction, assignment and support services agreement; and it operation and maintenance agreement; aggregate value: over $30m.
  • Advised Qatar Petroleum International -successfully- on its first participation in an international offshore bidding process, as a result of which QPI was awarded two exploration areas, in joint ventures with Shell; the advisory included the structuring of the bidding company (including all relevant registrations), as well as the joint-venture agreements for the two areas (value $68m).
  • Advised Qatar Petroleum International on its (minority shareholder) investment in two ExxonMobil Argentine subsidiaries, which hold participating interests in seven Vaca Muerta concessions and permits; the advisory included analysis of the legal implications of the conversion of a conventional exploitation concession into an unconventional exploitation concession.

O'Farrell

O'Farrell has a solid reputation in the oil and gas area, built on the back of its participation in the sector since the privatization processes of the 1990s and the various subsequent economic and regulatory scenarios endured by the industry. More recently the practice has established a track record in the development of unconventional oil and gas resources, including in Vaca Muerta, and the team can also draw on the firm's experience in infrastructure, public utility and procurement matters, to assist with bid processes, all types of transactional matters and regulatory matters - particularly concerning tariff review procedures. Four key partners head the practice: senior partner Uriel O’Farrell (corporate work, M&A and energy transactions, regulation and disputes); economic regulations specialist Agustin Siboldi (hydrocarbons exploration, concession, exploitation and distribution; gas production, transport, distribution and commercialization); Agustina Fanelli Evans (advisory on regulatory, administrative and constitutional matters; renegotiation of public contracts, tariff claims and litigious matters); and Juan Pablo Fratantoni (M&A, joint ventures, energy-sector investment, foreign investments and company law). At associate level, senior María Fortuna and intermediates Ana Belén Micciarelli and Nicolás Vázquez all have experience advising on public law and economic regulation.

Practice head(s):

Uriel O’Farrell; Agustin Siboldi; Agustina Fanelli Evans; Juan Pablo Fratantoni

Testimonials

‘All professionals have solid technical knowledge in their respective areas of competence, they understand the business and the client’s needs, and they are of great human value; Uriel O’Farrell, Agustin Siboldi and Agustina Fanelli’.

Key clients

Pampa Energía

Naturgy Ban

Total

Amarilla Gas and Cañuela Gas

Naturgy Spain

Axion Argentina

Unipar Indupa

Energy Consulting Services

YPF

ENI

Gas Andes Argentina

Hattrick Energy

Managers of Aleph Midstream

Petroperú (Arthur D Little)

Work highlights

  • Co-advisory (with consultancy Arthur D Little) to Petroperú on the process for the selection and execution of outsourcing agreements for the operation and maintenance of a number of auxiliary units at the new Talara refinery in Perú.
  • Permanent advise to longstanding client, Naturgy, since its privatisation, advising the company through a number of important crisis faced not only by the country but also what constitutes most regulated segment of the oil and gas chain, the distribution, acquisition and marketing of natural gas.
  • Assisting Energy Consulting Services – Engie with matters related to the previous administration’s drive to incentivise the production of natural gas to supply local demand, as well as with bidding processes.

Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites & Arntsen

With broad experience ranging from strategic transactions to innovative investments, Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites & Arntsen’s practice ‘stands out for its high specialisation, commercial vision and international experience’. The firm is also well regarded for its ‘agility and transparency in billing and an openness to technology in order to allow access to information’. Key strengths of the practice include due diligence, acquisitions, financings, securities issuance and regulatory matters across the energy sector. Francisco Javier Romano is recommended for his ‘knowledge of international LNG contracts and experience in comparative oil and gas regimes, particularly in Latin America’. A 'benchmark in energy matters' according to clients, Romano has some 25 years' experience in the sector and was formerly in house at Chevron for over a decade; he co-leads the team with fellow senior-partner, corporate and cross-border financing specialist Alan Arnsten, whose industry focus includes energy - he also has noteworthy infrastructure M&A experience. Environmental law input comes from counsel Nicole Jaureguiberry and the group was further strengthened with the March-2020 hire of Joaquín Ojeda Goncalves as a senior associate of the Administrative Law, Regulation and Public Services department. The firm recently established an alliance with the Neuquén-based Brillo Abogados to further its presence in the province.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Romano; Alan Arnsten

Testimonials

‘PAGBAM advises me on the legal and regulatory framework applicable to upstream oil & gas, concessions and tax systems, transportation and exports in Argentina, including the Vaca Muerta regime at the national and local level, keeping us updated on legal changes and developments on these issues, but also on business and commercial news in this area’.

‘What makes PAGBAM’s practice unique is the international and commercial vision of the team, in particular Francisco Romano, with extensive international in-house experience in energy companies. A good example is his knowledge in international LNG contracts or his experience in comparative oil & gas regimes, particularly in Latin America. For this reason, it compares very favorably with the teams of other firms, with more local, less global views’.

‘The diversity in relation to people is especially remarkable. Also noteworthy are the agility and transparency in billing and an openness to technology in order to allow access to information’.

‘PAGBAM (Energy) lawyers stand out for their high specialization, commercial vision and international experience’.

‘Technical capacity, availability and attention to the in-house lawyer matter a lot to me, qualities that the PAGBAM Energy department covers comfortably’.

‘Without a doubt, Francisco Romano Rivarola is a benchmark in energy matters, being one of the most expert lawyers in the local forum’.

‘The partner in charge of the practice is a lawyer with a lot of knowledge and experience at the O&G, and he is fully available to the attention of his clients’.

‘Francisco Romano has an excellent relationship with his staff and clients’.

Key clients

Argentina’s Oil & Gas Chamber

Mercuria Energy Group

Phoenix Global Resources

San Antonio International

Dow Chemical

IFC

Total Austral

Wintershall Argentina

Sinopec Argentina Exploration and Production

Petrobras

Pan American Energy

Axion Energy

Metrogas

Chevron

Petrolera El Trébol

Petroquímica Comodoro Rivadavia

Trafigura

Albanesi

YFP

Grupo CAPSA – CAPEX

Geopark Perú

Gennei

Work highlights

  • Advised the International Finance Corporation and its African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund (ALAC) on the sale of their 30.61% shareholding in Mednito to Exmed, controlled by the Carosio and Grimaldi families.
  • Advising a multinational trading group on the potential acquisition of a participatory interest in several exploitation concessions and midstream infrastructure.
  • Advised a global resources group on a multi-million ‘out of court’ settlement agreement with respect to various alleged breaches of the joint venture agreement.

Alfaro-Abogados

Notable for its strong roster of Chinese clients in the hydrocarbons sector, Alfaro-Abogados has also accrued both local and regional clients -such as Compañía General de Combustibles and Petrobras (Brazil)- and oilfield service companies such as Parker Drilling, Kidde (UTC) and Bivort. The team is active on both the transactional and regulatory sides of the oil and gas industry, and with offices in New York and Buenos Aires, as well as a China Desk in Beijing, the firm provides expertise in international and multijurisdictional matters. Carlos Alfaro specialises in the financing of large infrastructure projects including those in the hydrocarbons area. He co-leads the team with Sebastián Rodrigo, whose experience covers regulatory matters, project finance and energy / natural resources. Rodrigo, who primarily represents representing Brazilian, Chinese and US companies in Argentina, also has expertise in reorganisations, such as those of Centrál Térmica Guemes and CGC.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Alfaro; Sebastián Rodrigo

Key clients

Sinopec Group

Sinopec

CPTDC – CNPC

IOG Resources  – Interoil Argentina

Rolfson Oil

Work highlights

  • Advised on the projected sale of all Sinopec’s assets in Argentina, including 23 oil exploration and production concessions; however, the deal was suspended due to changes in the price of oil and economic conditions in Argentina and China.
  • Advising petroleum and petrochemical materials and equipment supplier CPTDC (a division of CNPC) on the company’s establishment of an Argentine branch and its entry into operation.
  • Advised both assisted IOG Resources and Interoil Argentina on the acquisition from Roch of a 30% stake in the joint venture agreement “Glacco Compañía Petrolera–Roch, which holds concession rights in the Campo Bremen, Moy Aike, Chorrillos, Palermo Aike and Océano areas of Santa Cruz province.

Allende & Brea

Undertaking tailor-made work, Allende & Brea has a 50-year history in the energy and natural resources sector. If best known today for its market-leading mining practice, the firm has nevertheless been re-building its presence in the oil and gas segment, where it advises clients on both corporate and regulatory matters. The six-strong, multidisciplinary team has extensive industry knowledge - particularly regarding contractual, regulatory, environmental, tax and financing issues - along with profound experience of transactions in heavily-regulated sectors. The practice is led by senior partner Florencia Heredia who has expertise across the energy and natural resources sector (including forestry and fisheries), as well as on environmental matters and corporate sustainability. Additional partner involvement comes from Marcos Patron Costas who advises local and foreign clients on cross-border M&A and project-finance transactions, with a primary focus on the energy industry. Currently undertaking a post-graduate qualification in hydrocarbons and energy industry regulation, key associate Agostina Martinez has a specialisation in international oil and gas law, contracts and negotiations.

Practice head(s):

Florencia Heredia

Key clients

YPF

Champion X Corporation

Diverse Fuels

Patagonia Shale Services

Indigo Energy Partners

Rhoda Poliamida e especialidades

FMC Technologies

Litoral Gas

Sabre Drilling Argentina

Novomet

JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation

Proenergy Holding Company

Dover Corporation

Mercuria Energy Trading

Axion Energy

Tassaroli

Weatherford

Work highlights

  • Advised YPF by providing an assessment regarding its compliance and corporate governance program practices vis-á-vis the most relevant applicable Argentine and US laws, regulations and best practices.
  • Advised Apergy Corporation (currently Champion X Corporation) on corporate and contractual matters related to its holding in a joint venture with local partners to produce highly-engineered equipment and technologies for the oil and gas production sector (including drill rigs, articifical lift equipment, etc), at a manufacturing plant in La Pampa province.
  • General advisory to Weatherford on a daily basis regarding its operations in Argentina, including agreements, labour, foreign exchange matters and litigation.

Martelli Abogados

Boutique firm Martelli Abogados works with multinational E&P majors and oilfield service companies conducting business in Argentina and maintains good links with international law firms. A steady performer in transactional matters, the practice also houses solid expertise in regulatory and contentious work. Hugo Martelli has comprehensive experience in the upstream and midstream spheres, while Pablo de Rosso is also recommended for his specialist focus on oil-and-gas matters.

Practice head(s):

Hugo Martelli