Energy and natural resources in Bolivia

Dentons Guevara & Gutierrez

In a country heavily reliant on the exportation of hydrocarbons, energy and natural resources, the energy and natural resources department at Dentons Guevara & Gutierrez counsels a host of stakeholders across the spectrum of relevant sectors and has frequently been involved in the negotiation and closing of contracts with the state-owned petrol company YPFB. The firm has worked extensively in the upstream sector and counts the majority of upstream companies in Bolivia, such as Petrobras, Repsol, YPF Argentina and Total, as clients. Enrique Barrios who 'combines a strong legal technical knowledge with his commercial vision' and operates from the Santa Cruz office, is the oil and gas expert to note, drawing on extensive experience in all aspects of related contract negotiation, administrative matters, and cross-border legal structures. Mining and natural resources matters are managed by Jorge Inchauste, who has been particularly active for national and international clients doing business in Bolivia over the last two decades. Senior partner Ramiro Guevara is a reference in hydrocarbons and energy law and oversees the group with Barrios and Inchauste. Zoya Galarza assists with litigation related to oil and gas sector regulatory matters, while at the senior associate level, Alejandra Guevara and Ana Erika Lora  are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Ramiro Guevara; Enrique Barrios; Jorge Inchauste


‘Collaboration between lawyers is excellent. Accessibility to partner and senior associate has been very easy which has been helpful during negotiations and other time sensitive matters. I appreciate the balance of men and women within the firm.’

‘It’s been a privilege to work with Jorge Inchauste and Alejandra Guevara, both excellent lawyers. I believe there skill sets would be a perfect fit for any international companies planning to setup in Bolivia. Both lawyers are well versed in both corporate and mining law. Jorge and Alejandra speak fluent English and communicate very effectively whether oral or written. Jorge and Alejandra are both very personable and professional. We look forward to a continued positive and productive relationship.’

‘It is a well prepared team. They have a great balance between general and particular legal knowledge of the industry. During the pandemic, the service was excellent, adapting immediately to the particularities of the case.’

Key clients

SantaCruz Silver Mining

YPF E&P Bolivia

Strategic and Precious Metals Processing (FZC)

Xinjiang TBEA Group Company

Repsol E&P Bolivia

Petrobras Bolivia

Total E&P Bolivia

Vintage Petroleum Boliviana

Roxwell Silver Minera

Work highlights

  • Advised Canadian company SantaCruz Silver Mining on its acquisition of a Bolivian mining portfolio from Glencore for $110m.
  • Acted for YPF E&P Bolivia in assignment agreements with YPFB  and YPFB Chaco, whereby YPFB Chaco acquired a participation interest in the Charagua Services Agreement.
  • Advised Strategic and Precious Metals Processing on the drafting and negotiation of sophisticated offtake agreements with mineral producers in Bolivia.

Moreno Baldivieso Estudio De Abogados

Moreno Baldivieso Estudio De Abogados continues to be one of the go-to firms for the major players in Bolivia’s broad and nationally significant energy and natural resources landscape. Its 2021 highlights included construction and development of cement factory, geothermic plant and lithium extraction projects, but the team is also well-versed in the transactional side of the market. The breadth of the practice is boosted by its presence across the country with the firm’s offices in La Paz, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba and Tarija offering clients local counsel. In La Paz, Andrés Moreno has a corporate law focus in energy and mining matters; he co-leads the practice with senior M&A and arbitration expert Ramiro Moreno and Santa Cruz-based Luis Moreno, another key figure in the domestic law market for mining and energy projects. René Cuellar is also regularly counsel on engineering and construction projects, and Daniel Arredondo is noted for his knowledge of mining and electricity matters. Teddy Mercado is also partner regularly involved in the energy and mining practice, while at the associate level, Mirko Olmos and Santiago Gantier  are the names to note.

Practice head(s):

Ramiro Moreno; Andrés Moreno; Luis Moreno

Key clients

Sacyr Industrial

Lilac Solutions

Siemens Energy

Phillips 66

Total Energies

Halliburton Latin America


National Oil Well Varco

Votorantim Metais


Work highlights

  • Acted for Sacyr Industrial in the maintenance of a cement factory in Oruro, and the construction of a cement factory in Potosi, worth a combined $530m.
  • Advising Lilac Solutions throughout the private tender process for pilot testing of lithium extracting technology in the Bolivian Uyuni Salt Flats.
  • Acting for Vestas in the construction of three Eolic Parks that will generate 108MW of energy for the cities of Warnes, Montero and Santa Cruz.

PPO Abogados

2021 saw PPO Abogados bolster its mining and metals practice with El Oro Resources, Penfold and EagleCrest Exploration Bolivia joining its client roster which already included Empresa Andean Precious Metals and Sumitomo. On the energy side, the firm has acted in notable new projects in lithium extraction and green hydrogen, while maintaining a strong presence in hydrocarbons. The team is highly praised by clients and is coordinated by three partners: in Santa Cruz, Mattias Garrón is the firm’s go-to contact for regulatory issues across energy and natural resources, while Carlos Pinto is 'excellent for commercial and transactional issues'. At the La Paz office, tax law expert Pablo Ordoñez has in-depth knowledge of the tax-relevant issues for energy sector clients. Senior associate support comes from Delma Paz, who focuses on corporate law matters.

Practice head(s):

Pablo Ordoñez; Mattias Garrón; Carlos Pinto


‘I consider their practice unique because they send updates and news about changes in the law, covid, among others. They are always informed and concerned that the client complies with the mining law.’

‘The attention they give us is excellent – Mattias Garrón and Pablo Ordoñez. I like that they care about inclusion.’

‘PPO has immediately answered our concerns, and given concrete solutions with knowledge and solvency that I have not found elsewhere.’

‘We were able to work with the PPO Abogados team without setbacks and everyone knew the specific area where we work (mining).’

‘They have shown great knowledge in mining, environmental and corporate material. The queries have been answered clearly and concretely.’

‘They are young professionals who demonstrate great knowledge of the regulatory framework and business material in the specific areas of their practice. We have carried out highly complex consultations regarding legal and environmental matters and we have seen them resolved in a precise and clear manner. We have worked with partner Mattias Garrón.’

‘We have an excellent impression of the PPO team. The team provides us with excellent support regarding all the needs of the company, particularly regarding transactional issues. We have worked with other firms in the past, however we believe that PPO has a much more specialized platform.’

‘We work with Carlos Pinto, who is excellent for commercial and transactional issues. He has excellent legal skills and additionally understands our business. We also work with Diego Böhrt, who is a specialist in regulation in the electricity sector. The market recognizes that Diego is the best lawyer in the industry, has a deep knowledge of the sector and regularly provides training to operators through the Chamber of Electricity. My impression is that PPO attorneys are more specialized than other large firms, which have more generalist attorneys.’

Key clients

New Pacific Metals (NPM)

Canacol Energy

Productora H2 Bolivia

El Oro Resources


Andean Precious Metals

Wellbore Integrity Solutions (WIS)

Cumbre del Sajama

Gas y Electricidad

Excellence Logging

Work highlights

  • Advised NPM on a mining production contract with state-owned Corporación Minera de Bolivia (Comibol) to jointly develop the Silver Sun Project, located in the Potosi region of Bolivia.
  • Assisting Canacol Energy with a hydrocarbon operation agreement with state-owned company Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) to carry out exploration activities in the Ovai and Florida blocks.
  • Advising H2 Productora on the Pacha K’anchay project, a $1.5bn investment to build a green hydrogen and ammonia plant.

Becerra de la Roca Donoso & Asociados S.R.L.

Becerra de la Roca Donoso & Asociados S.R.L. stands out for its ‘extensive knowledge of regulatory aspects in the energy sector‘ and has a strong presence in Bolivia’s burgeoning hydrocarbons market. YPFB Andina and Petrobras Bolivia are among the firm's key domestic clients in this segment, and practice head Mauricio Becerra de la Roca is a key advisor. He has 15 years of experience in the energy sector and can also call on a technical team offering support on project QHSE and ISO requirements. Outside of the hydrocarbons sector, recent work has included projects in the sugar refining, cement and food industries.

Practice head(s):

Mauricio Becerra de la Roca


‘Availability and knowledge.’

‘The firm’s staff has extensive knowledge of regulatory aspects in the energy sector as well as its practical application in the operations of companies dedicated to the energy sector. The service is of quality and exceeds in some aspects the average in the local market.’

‘Its human quality and the permanent contribution in solutions.’

‘BDA’s lawyers worked for a long time in the regulatory entity of the Bolivian electricity sector, and therefore know very well all the legal aspects of it.’

‘The provision of the service is opportune, the effectiveness is recognizable. Regarding the incorporation of new technologies, Becerra has its attention online, its billing system is also effective in terms of established deadlines.’

‘The main quality that makes the office stand out is its timely attention and cordiality, the quality of the reports they issue. The outstanding partner in our opinion is Mauricio Becerra.’

‘A personalized service and always looking for continuous improvement.’

‘Everyone in general has a good attention and they are always predisposed to listen and execute the requested needs.’

Key clients

YPFB Refinación

Petrobras Bolivia

Ingenio Azucarero Guabirá


Industrias de Aceite


Golden Kiwi

Guabira Energía

YPFB Andina

Industrias Papelera y de Servicios Divino Niño

ISA Bolivia

Compañía Boliviana de Energía Eléctrica (Cobee)



Work highlights

  • Assisted Soboce with QHSE compliance and audit of operations at its cements mills and sites.
  • Advised YPFB Andina on the QHSE compliance and audit of its gas and and oil fields.
  • Advising Petrobras Bolivia on compliance with the country’s energy sector legislation.

Indacochea & Asociados

Indacochea & Asociados is a strong choice for companies in the hydrocarbons sector looking for robust corporate and regulatory advice for operations in Bolivia. The firm has cultivated a strong client base in that area but also assists a variety of stakeholders in the broader spectrum of energy and natural resources projects in the country. Practice head Mariana Pereira comes with client recommendation and is an expert on corporate and transactional matters. The ‘very knowledgeable and well preparedAna Carola Muñoz works closely with Pereira on all of the firm’s standout hydrocarbons matters, while at associate level, both Maria Laura Paz and Maria José Martínez are the names to note. Since publication, Martínez has been raised to the partnership - effective as of March 2023.

Practice head(s):

Mariana Pereira


‘I find the legal team at Indacochea & Asociados to be realistic and honest in their approach, their opinions and their frankness in providing additional options for client consideration in an effort to help solve a legal issue quickly and fairly. I enjoy the openness and understanding they provide in meetings to make sure their clients’ concerns are addressed and everyone is on the same page.’

‘My primary contact at Indacochea & Asociados is Mariana Pereira. I find Mariana to be a very concerned and open-minded professional. She has a personality that generates more open and honest discussions. I feel that Mariana honestly cares about my issues and this in turn generates more open discussion to find the right solution for closure (not something I’ve seen very often at other law firms).’

‘I have worked with Ana Carola Muñoz in numerous occasions regarding company governance and shareholder meetings. I have found Ana Carola to be very knowledgeable and well prepared. This is a noteworthy trait because a client needs to feel that they are in “good hands” and Ana Carola brings that talent to the table.’

Key clients

EIG Management

Pampa Energía Bolivia

Sproule International

Baker Hughes Bolivia

ISA Bolivia

Petrolog Sevicios Petroleros


BHP Billiton Boliviana de Petróleo

Petrobras Argentina

Contreras Hermanos

Work highlights

  • Assisting EIG Management with its activities as a shareholder of GasTransBoliviano, the Bolivian company in charge of transporting gas to Brazil.
  • Advising Pampa Energía Bolivia on corporate and regulatory matters, including drafting of shareholder agreements, review and elaboration of contracts, preparation of minutes at shareholders meetings.
  • Assisted Sproule International with the Bolivian legal framework, ensuring that the client was aware of and met all the regulatory, and finally presenting the company before the authorities so that the client could start participating in bids in Bolivia.

Bufete Aguirre, Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa Sociedad Civil – (BAQSN)

Bufete Aguirre, Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa Sociedad Civil – (BAQSN) is a renowned player when it comes to the mining sector in Bolivia, and Fernando Aguirre a reference in the market. He has participated in the drafting of much of the related legislature and assists major players, both domestic and international. The firm also acts in hydrocarbons and other energy sector matters, where it has broadened its client base recently. Eduardo Quintanilla co-leads alongside Fernando Aguirre, and Ignacio Aguirre is the other key partner contact.

Practice head(s):

Fernando Aguirre; Eduardo Quintanilla


‘Fernando Aguirre participated 99% in the discussions and drafting of the current mining law.’

‘Experience of Fernando Aguirre.’

Key clients

Empresa Minera Paitití

Minera San Cristobal

Hidroeléctrica Boliviana

GP Exploración y Producción


Empresa Minera Manquiri

Total Bolivie

Eloro Resource

Minera Tupiza

Gazprom Bolivia

Andean Precious Metals – Manquiri

Work highlights

  • Assisting Empresa Minera Paitití with drafting of reports on regulatory matters regarding mining rights.
  • Advising Minera San Cristobal on all relevant corporate matters, including corporate governance and contractual relationships with mining regulatory authorities.

Würth Bedoya Costa Du Rels Abogados

Würth Bedoya Costa Du Rels Abogados has a longstanding reputation in the electricity sector but also acts for a number of oil and gas clients, as well as names in the mining sector. The team are frequently engaged in contractual negotiations with the state and on a wide range of commercial contracts across the energy and natural resources landscape. Karla Würth's strengths lie in the financing side of projects and in environmental law, and she is also noted for corporate-related energy sector matters. She leads the practice alongside senior associate Sergio Velasco Landívar  , who is the contact for incorporation of operations in Bolivia.

Practice head(s):

Karla Würth; Sergio Velasco Landívar

Key clients


Enerflex Bolivia

Delta Energia

Hanseberg Bolivia

Bluequest Resources Bolivia

Work highlights

  • Acting for Comgas in the negotiation and drafting of its gas purchase and sale agreement.
  • Assisting Hanseberg Bolivia with its incorporation in Bolivia and obtaining all regulatory authorisations and permits for mining activities.
  • Acting for Delta Energia in the negotiation and drafting of its gas purchase and sale agreement.