Hydrocarbons in Brazil
Fielding one of the biggest integrated teams focused on the energy and natural resources industry, Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados advises domestic and international clients on the gamut of matters pertaining to hydrocarbons. Covering regulatory issues and transactional work, the practice is retained by leading exploration and production (E&P) companies, natural gas distributors, service providers, private equity houses and banks. With particular strength in the acquisition of E&P assets, typical mandates also include assisting with stock purchases, acquisition and project financing, project development and litigation. Giovani Loss stands out for his strong track record in M&A transactions and regulatory issues involving the oil and gas industry. Felipe Feres is qualified to practice in Brazil and New York, Danielle Ludwig devotes her time to oil and gas matters, while Bruno Chedid is active in M&A, contractual issues and financing. Nilton Mattos is also recommended.
‘Lawyers are absolutely outstanding, the perform a task / job in the most timely, efficient manner. They have deep knowledge in the oil and gas sector. The way that they link the issues (corporate, tax, regulatory, contractual and litigation) stands out.’
‘Nilton Mattos is business-oriented profile and is great at negotiating with state owned entities. He has longstanding experience in the Brazilian oil and gas sector.’
- Acted as counsel to Grupo Dislub Equador in the sale of a 50% stake to Vitol.
- Advised Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation on the sale of oil and gas assets to PTTEP Exploration and Production for $622m.
- Acted for Sumitomo Mitsui, ING and Crédit Agricole as lenders in the negotiation of the financing documents pertaining to the acquisition by Trident Energy of 10 mature oil fields from Petrobras.
- Assisted TMF in the obtaining of acquisition finance in order to purchase 90% of the capital stock of Transportadora Associada de Gás – TAG from Petrobras.
- Advised PetroRio on the acquisition of Petrobras’s 30% participating interest in the offshore Frade field.
Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown has a team fully dedicated to oil and gas projects and clients, demonstrating the capacity to handle matters not only in Brazil, but also those involving other countries in Latin America and Africa. The team is active across the full range of matters taking place in the sector, including high-value M&A transactions, project development, litigation, financing and contractual issues. Other areas of expertise include private farm-in/farm-out transactions, oil and gas companies' restructuring and regulatory cases before the National Petroleum Agency (NPA). Practice head Alexandre Chequer offers legal support to upstream, midstream and downstream businesses. Victor Galante, who co-leads the firm's Japan and China Desks, is a name to note for M&A and project development. Alexandre Calmon and Bruno Belchior are also recommended.
‘Tauil & Chequer Advogados In Association With Mayer Brown has an excellent team not only in the oil and gas sector, but also in other areas of law, such as environmental law. The know-how and quality of the advice/service, in addition to lawyers’ availability, attention and client support are outstanding. ‘
‘Excellent insight and understanding on Brazil oil and gas matters. They are very updated on ongoing events and have experience in dealing with all matters relating to oil and gas.’
‘Bruno Belchior is very knowledgeable, hardworking and practical. His extensive network and understanding of oil and gas matters is outstanding. He is able to deliver even in most complicated cases.’
‘Tauil & Chequer Advogados are the kind of lawyers a company wants while starting a business in a new country. They understand the needs of the client as if they were their own.’
‘Bruno Belchior is an excellent professional. His performance as a lawyer is outstanding. He works as hard as it is needed in order to achieve clients’ goals.’
‘The Hydrocarbons practice is complete in every aspect, they provide services from regulatory aspects to corporate and M&A aspects. In Brazil the most difficult part is to find a firm that has broad experience in regulatory aspects. Apart from its broadly known experience in M&A practice for the O&G industry, Tauil & Chequer has provided assistance in relation to the regulatory aspects from the transfer of licenses, to the day-to-day obligations of an oil company that operates assets in Brazil.’
‘Expert team that leads the market and have excellent knowledge of the laws and regulations, as well as their interpretation by the authorities. Other firms’ experience is focused on M&A aspects, and leaves regulatory learning curve to a case by case basis, what can delay some of the processes.’
‘The best lawyer in O&G in Brazil today is Alexandre Bittencourt Calmon. He is a partner at Tauil & Chequer. His experience and capacity excels due to his sensibility in understanding the client’s needs and anticipating the necessary actions that need to be taken in relation to each circumstance. Because of his solid knowledge in upstream and midstream regulatory provisions, combined with his outstanding understanding of M&A deals, farm-ins/farm-outs, he is the most complete lawyer in O&G law today in Brazil. Another partner in Tauil & Chequer who has outstanding work is Bruno Belchior, due to his tireless work and dedication to his clients.’
Le Caisse de Dépôt et Placement de Québec (CDPQ)
- Advised Le Caisse de Dépôt et Placement de Québec (CDPQ) in the acquisition, jointly with Engie, of a 90% shareholding stake in Transportadora Associada de Gás – TAG.
- Represented PETRONAS in the acquisition from Petrobras of a 50% working interest in the Tartaruga Verde and Module III Espadarte concessions, offshore Rio de Janeiro, for $1.29bn.
- Represented Perenco Petróleo e Gás do Brasil in the acquisition of Petrobras’s 100% working interest in the Pargo Cluster, in the context of the latter’s divestment process.
- Provided assistance to China National Offshore Oil Corporation – CNOOC, through its Brazilian affiliate, in the transfer of rights surplus bidding round for the acquisition of Búzios field.
- Assisting Eneva in the structuring and development of the integrated reservoir-to-wire project UTE Jaguatirica with installed capacity of 117MW in the State of Roraima.
Showcasing particular strength in complex financing structures in the oil and gas sector, Cescon, Barrieu, Flesch & Barreto Advogados is adept at handling all types of matters in the industry, from upstream to downstream, encompassing gas transportation, distribution and LNG projects. The team provides legal assistance in relation to M&As, farm-in/outs, project development, capital markets transactions and commercial and financing contracts. Transactions involving offshore drilling assets are another area of expertise for the department. The practice is jointly led by Rafael Baptista Baleroni, who undertakes work in all segments of the oil and gas sector, and Maurício Teixeira dos Santos, who stands out for his thorough knowledge of project development.
‘Experts in both oil and gas and complex financial structures. Rare combination. Also very commercial, practical and responsive. One of the best teams in the market.’
‘They have always demonstrated a sound knowledge of the local regulation as well as bringing up ideas to drafting discussion of the documentation. The firm also has a multidisciplinary team, which allows them to provide educated opinions on several fields.’
‘Client-dedicated approach: constantly thinking outside the box to create innovative solution to client’s needs. Delivery: always focusing on delivering sophisticated legal work in a timely and efficient manner. Legal knowledge: huge experience in transactions involving the entire O&G chain leading to a business-oriented approach, which helps clients in making business decisions.’
‘Roberto Pary combines interpersonal skills with his great technical legal skills are key during contractual negotiations.’
‘Rafael Baleroni has in-depth knowledge of the entire O&G chain with huge experience in project financing in this sector.’
Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social – BNDES
GeoPark Brasil Exploração e Produção de Petróleo e Gás Ltda.
CEXIM – The Export-Import Bank of China
Deutsche Bank AG
- Advising Magni Partners, an affiliate of Borr Drilling, on the acquisition of four drilling rigs in Sete Brasil’s judicial reorganisation.
- Advised BNDES in structuring and modelling the privatisation of MS Gas and restructuring the gas distribution regulatory framework in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.
- Assisting Geopark Brasil on all regulatory and contractual matters related to its drilling campaign in connection with wells located on the Potiguar basin as well as on regulatory compliance with all its concessions in Brazil.
- Advised the lenders on financing the construction and acquisition of an FSRU vessel (BW Magna) by BW FSRU III, which will provide storage and regasification for an LNG-to-power project.
Schmidt, Valois, Miranda, Ferreira & Agel Advogados has a strong track record in the oil and gas market, having participated in the development of major upstream, midstream and downstream projects in Brazil. Areas of strength include farm-in and farm-out transactions involving offshore, onshore, exploratory, development and producing fields in the domestic upstream sector. The practice is jointly led by three partners: Paulo Valois Pires, who is regularly mandated by international and national oil companies, suppliers, financial institutions and private equity firms; Rogério Sobral de Miranda, whose specialisms encompass transactions concerning natural resources and infrastructure projects; and Luis Fernando Pacheco, who provides advice on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contacts, joint operating agreements, as well as high-value M&A, among other areas. Antônio Luís Ferreira has played a part in the shaping of energy law in Brazil, namely natural gas regulations. Isabela Faria is a name to note for project finance.
‘They are leaders in the industry, know the industry very well. Paulo Valois and Guilherme Schmidt stand out.‘
BHP BILLITON PETROLEUM
Chariot Oil & Gas
OURO PRETO ÓLEO E GÁS
- Provided legal assistance to Enerflex Energia in the development of a gas processing project in the State of Rio de Janeiro, encompassing the construction of one or more gas processing units.
- Assisted Engie Brasil in the divestment of Petrobras’s 90% interest in Transportadora Associada de Gás (TAG), concerning the evaluation of the project, assets and negotiations of the main agreements in connection with the transaction.
- Advised Japanese oil and gas companies INPEX and SOJITZ on the sale of their equity interest in Frade Japão Petróleo Limitada to Petro Rio.
- Assisted NOVA TRANSPORTADORA DO SUDESTE – NTS in the analysis of regulatory and contractual issues arising from the ‘Gas to Growth Program’ to be implemented by the government, now renamed as the ‘New Gas Market’.
Vieira, Rezende, Barbosa e Guerreiro Advogados
Vieira, Rezende, Barbosa e Guerreiro Advogados offers advice to E&P clients on bidding rounds, regulatory and administrative proceedings as well as M&A transactions. Offshore service providers also seek legal assistance from the firm, not only on contractual, regulatory and corporate issues, but also in relation to the financing of their activities. The department is also sought after by oil and gas institutional organisations in legislative and regulatory discussions impacting the industry. Leading the practice is Daniela Ribeiro Davila, who has recently been active in concession rights acquisitions in connection with Petrobras's divestment initiative. She also heads the Norwegian desk alongside Joyce Jacobsen, who is fluent in the language. Gas expert Ricardo Martinez de Almeida is a name to note for the development and implementation of pipelines.
Nippon Yusen Kaisha – NYK Group
Serviços de Petróleo Constellation S.A. (formerly Queiroz Galvão Óleo e Gás)
Subsea 7 do Brasil Serviços
Akofs do Brasil
Swire Pacific Offshore
Atlantica Tender Drilling
NFX Combustíveis Marítimos
- Advised on how to best structure BW Group’s new E&P business in Brazil through the new group of companies under the brand BW Energy.
- Assisting Total E&P with licensing processes required for the operation of the Lapa field before federal and state authorities.
- Assisting AKOFS do Brasil in the discussions with Petrobras and in the drafting of a defense challenging the application of a contractual fine due to the client’s alleged delay in completing certain corrective actions concerning the vessel Aker Wayfarer.
- Advised Atlantica Tender Drilling in connection with a refinancing that involved a bond issue and a senior secured term loan facility in Norway, in which its Brazilian subsidiary BassDrill Brasil Serviços de Petróleo was required to grant certain guarantees.
Campos Mello Advogados has recently been assisting clients with new modalities of bidding rounds, operating agreements, M&A transactions as well as Petrobras's divestments. Its legal services to oil and gas companies range from regulatory, contractual, maritime, environmental and corporate advice to acquisition and project financing. Implementation of natural gas processing units and pipelines, as well as refineries and petrochemical facilities are other areas of expertise for the team, which is led by David Leinig Meiler, who splits his time between Rio and Houston. Paulo Lopes devotes his practice to domestic and cross-border M&A projects and energy matters. Bárbara Bittencourt focuses on regulatory issues and administrative law pertaining to the oil and gas and biofuels sectors.
‘David Meiler and Barbara Bittencourt are very qualified and take care of our demands on a timely and efficient manner.’
Murphy Oil Corporation
Etesco Construções E Comércio
Ocean Rig/ Transocean
Maersk Supply Services
San Antonio – Lupatech
Helix Energy Solutions Group
Perenco Oil & Gas
Mitsui & Co.
- Advised Starboard Asset and SPE 3R Petroleum in the negotiation and execution by the latter of a sale and purchase agreement with Petrobras for the acquisition of a group of oil fields known as the Macau Cluster.
- Represented Murphy in the negotiations of a joint bidding agreement with ExxonMobil Exploração Brasil and Enauta.
- Provided legal assistance to Ocean Rig during a tender launched by Petrobras for the contracting of two drilling rigs.
Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados has particular strength in the gas sector, having had a central role assisting Petrobras with its divestment effort and the opening up of the market to private players. M&A is at the core of the oil and gas practice, which advises on fuels, gas distribution and service providers in addition to exploration and production. Project development is another area of activity for the department, which has been handling what is to be the first greenfield refinery project. José Virgílio Lopes Enei oversees the global infrastructure team, regularly assisting international clients with matters pertaining to hydrocarbons. Daniel Szyfman heads the oil and gas team, and has a strong background in M&A and structured finance. Ana Karina Esteves de Souza is a name to note for project finance. Maria Fernanda Soares is another key practitioner in the team.
‘As a full service law firm they are able to promptly put together a big team with different competence to work in a very tight schedule for different projects.‘
‘Daniel Szyfman has a good knowledge of the industry and peers being able to provide practical and business-oriented advice which is really important for Projects.‘
‘Daniel Szyfman stands out, very good and reasonable negotiator. His M&A partner Arthur Penteado is also excellent. They have a great team.‘
Petróleo Brasileiro – Petrobras
Gas Natural Açu (GNA)
Castleton Commodities International
SeaOne Holdings LLC
- Advised Petrobras in the $8.6bn sale of its 90% equity stake in TAG – Transportadora Associada de Gás, a wholly owned subsidiary of Petrobras that owns the north-northeast gas pipeline grid.
- Assisted Petro-Victory in the organisation of its operations in Brazil, including conclusion of the farm-in procedure with ANP for 50% interest in the Carapitanga and São João onshore fields.
- Advising Mitsubishi, Patria Investimentos and Marlim Azul on a gas-to-wire project, a 433MW thermal power plant in the state of Rio de Janeiro, fuelled by natural gas produced in the pre-salt area.
Pinheiro Neto Advogados represents Brazilian and international players in high-end transactions involving oil and gas assets. The team is also instructed by commercial banks in regulatory-driven transactional work, as well as service providers and equipment suppliers. Regulatory issues concerning exploration, development, production, refining, distribution, trading and imports and exports of oil are other areas of expertise for the department. Marcelo Viveiros de Moura focuses on M&A transactions in the oil and gas sector and regulatory matters, while Marcello Lobo's specialisms further include joint ventures and financing issues.
‘The deep knowledge of energy law and regulations is what makes the practice unique.’
‘The main difference between Pinheiro Neto and other law firms is the great quality of its partners. Irrespective of the matter, you’ll find a very high qualified partner to support you.’
‘The availability and pro activity is what differentiates this law firm from others.’
‘The partners that stand out are Francisco Maranhão and Raphael Paciello.’
‘Emir Oliveira, Raphael Paciello and Marcelo Moura are outstanding lawyers, representing not only the firm high standards, but being present on the every day discussions.’
Trident Energy LP
Perenco Petróleo e Gás do Brasil
Public Joint Stock Company Acron
Transportadora Associada de Gás – TAG
Itaú Investimentos – Itaúsa
Mitsui E&P Brasil
Mitsui Gás e Energia do Brasil
Nova Transportadora do Sudeste – NTS
Afton Chemical Indústria de Aditivos
Mubadala Development Company PJSC
EIG Global Energy Partners
- Advised Trident Energy on the acquisition of 100% of Petrobras’s interests in ten mature oil and gas fields located in Campos Basin.
- Provided legal services to Nova Transportadora do Sudeste (NTS) in multiple regulatory matters in the natural gas transportation sector, including regarding tariff revisions.
- Acted as Brazilian counsel to PTT Exploration and Production in the acquisition of 100% of equity interest in Partex Holding.
Trench Rossi Watanabe
The oil and gas team at Trench Rossi Watanabe handles transactional work in the context of M&A, financing and project development, while also advising domestic and international clients on contractual matters and regulatory issues. Other areas of activity include assisting with the negotiation of joint bidding and operating agreements, as well as EPC litigation and companies' compliance risk. Practice head Danielle Valois is noted for her experience in oil and gas projects; she has also advised companies on compliance programmes. Gabriela Bezerra Fischer acts for oil companies and services providers in relation to regulatory and transactional matters.
‘Very user friendly team – always available to address queries (which tend to be ad-hoc for our investments), have moderated advice to fit with our specific internal corporate requirements and able to explain Brazilian issues to an international firm with limited previous experience in the jurisdiction (and without a Portuguese language capability).’
‘Danielle Valois has been a valuable source of information on the complex and opaque regulatory position for oil and gas assets and the Petrobras divestment process.’
‘The energy team offers a unique combination of deep expertise in the industry (from offshore licensing to complex regulatory issues to large M&A transactions) with an impressive international outlook. Its global DNA, through its affiliation with Baker McKenzie, provides the clients with up to date international best practices and solutions that only a truly international law firm can offer.’
Petróleo Brasileiro – Petrobras
PTT Exploration and Production Public Company
Atlantica Tender Drilling
RWE Supply & Trading GmbH
Halliburton do Brasil
Vopak do Brasil
BCCY Environmental Energy Co
- Assisted Kraton Corporation in the global sale of its Cariflex business unit to South Korea-based conglomerate Daelim Industrial, for a purchase price of $530m.
- Advised Rhone Capital V with the carve out of the DRILCO business in Macaé, as part of a global transaction.
Veirano Advogados has been particularly busy advising oil and gas companies on a broad range of issues, ranging from regulatory advice and high-value M&A transactions to the development of greenfield projects, including those related to energy transition, refining, gas-to-power, pre-salt and LNG. The practice also advises on the purchase of interest in onshore and offshore blocks, as well as financing structures. Ali El Hage Filho is familiar with all aspects of the oil and gas industry, namely natural gas distribution and the entire life-cycle of upstream businesses. Rogério Campos is often retained to advise clients on the revision of Petrobras bid documents, while Andre Carvalho focuses on tax consulting.
‘Veirano stands with the confidence of a traditional firm, while offering a dynamic and agile team of young and highly skilled lawyers.’
‘Ali El Hage has a refined standard for providing services and seems to lead his team as a conductor guides an orchestra. Tito is tireless when working with complex contracts and is precise with details.’
Estaleiro Atlântico do Sul
IBP – Instituto Brasileiro de Petróleo, Gás e Biocombustíveis
CNPC International (CNPC)
- Advised CNPC International in respect of a strategic partnership between Petrobras and CNPC aimed at conducting feasibility studies to evaluate the COMPERJ refinery, with the purpose of creating a joint venture between Petrobras and CNPC.
- Supported Shell throughout phases 1 and 2 of the development of the Marlim Azul Project, a greenfield 565.5MW gas-fired thermal power plant located in Macaé.
- Currently advising ECB Group in the structuring and development of the Omega Green project, a $800m plant that will produce renewable diesel and synthetic paraffinic kerosene.
Demarest Advogados is not only engaged by E&P companies in onshore and offshore matters, but also assists service providers, suppliers and gas and fuel distributors. With a particular focus on transactional and regulatory work, the practice is well equipped to advise on M&A, acquisition financing, EPC and other contractual issues. João Luis Ribeiro de Almeida, who is often sought out by large Brazilian companies and multinationals, leads the department. Farm-out transactions and financing issues pertaining to the oil and gas sector are among his areas of practice.
‘Outstanding performance. Focused on the topics and quick reaction to provide suitable assistance. Understanding of the legal implications to client (domestic and cross-border issues). In general, the team has excellent legal background.’
‘Demarest has a fantastic team, the way the different departments work together is quite good and gives you the trust that an in-house looks for. ‘
‘João Almeida, with whom I had the opportunity to work and discuss several issues involving different projects in the oil and gas field, has been working in the industry for more than a decade, and is always up to date on the latest regulatory issues and changes. You can rely on him: deep knowledge and always available.’
‘Effectively identifies and analyses the legal issues which need to be solved. Truly determines what level of effort must be applied to appropriately resolve legal issues without overreacting and cost efficiency. Achieves desired legal outcomes. Makes recommendations based on accurate legal analysis, good judgment and common sense.’
‘João Almeida is a hard worker. He has deep experience, responsiveness and knowledge of the market.’
Petrom Produção de Petróleo e Gás
Companhia de Gás do Estado de São Paulo – COMGAS
Sat Participações / ALESAT Combustíveis
World Fuel (Terrana)
National Oilwell Varco
Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS)
Companhia de Gás de Minas Gerais – GASMIG
- Advised Central Resources do Brasil Produção de Petróleo in the acquisition of Petrobras’s 100% participating interest in the rights and obligations derived from the concession contracts related to Redonda and Ponta do Mel Field and related equipment.
- Assisted Petrom Produção de Petróleo & Gás in the acquisition of Petrogal Brasil’s participating interest of 50% in the Rabo Branco Field and the respective wells, operating contracts and equipment.
The recently established oil and gas department at Lefosse Advogados provides legal support in all industry segments - upstream, midstream and downstream - covering petroleum, natural gas and other by-products. Negotiating contracts, including joint operation agreements, as well as M&A processes, incorporation and registration of new companies and representing clients in administrative proceedings all feature among the department's caseload. The highly regarded Felipe Boechem leads the team.
‘Lefosse has a superb energy practice, with lawyers who really master the field. Its multidisciplinary team is very well positioned to assist clients in all matters related to the energy industry, from M&A transaction to licensing to disputes. A true power-house in the sector.’
‘Felipe Boechem is a leading figure in the market and the go-to lawyer for any kind energy (oil and gas) legal issue. Mr. Boechem’s international legal education, academic credentials and professional experience, both in a US firm and as a senior in-house counsel at the world’s largest energy company, position him as a really complete and well-rounded energy lawyer.’
‘Mr. Boechem has a fine ability to quickly spot the core issues at hand and propose very effective and commercially viable legal strategies. He is definitely a rising star in the field.’
Petróleo Brasileiro – Petrobras
BP Energy do Brasil
Shell Brasil Petróleo
Ecopetrol Óleo e Gás do Brasil
BW Offshore do Brasil
- Acted as legal counsel to Petrobras in connection with the sale of the total voting capital of Liquigás Distribuidora to Copagaz Distribuidora de Gás and Nacional Gás Butano Distribuidora.
- Advised Bunge on the formation of a joint venture with BP for the combination of Bunge and BP’s sugar and ethanol operations in Brazil, resulting in the creation of a new entity, BP Bunge Bioenergia.
The infrastructure team at Stocche Forbes Advogados has an impressive track record in project finance transactions in the oil and gas sector. The practice has recently diversified its service offering, departing from a pure project finance background, to include a wider range of work, covering regulatory advice, participation in public auctions, M&A and acquisition finance in the hydrocarbons market. Frederico Moura and Bruno Gandolfo often act for major sponsors and financial institutions in the country, while Miriam Signor focuses on project finance. Guilherme Forbes handles corporate transactions involving shares and assets in the energy sector.
‘Stocche Forbes overall added great value to works related to M&A and financing of very complex cross-border transactions in Brazil.’
‘The following individuals did truly outstanding work and went above and beyond to deliver fast and quality work product in a highly stressful and fast pacing transaction: Frederico Moura; Bruno Gandolfo; Pietro Bianchi and Ricardo Freoa.’
Eig Group, Gtb-Tbg Holdings
ICBC Do Brasil Banco Multiplo
Petrorio O&G Exploração E Produção
Modec Serviços De Petróleo Do Brasil
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & Mccloy
- Advised Citigroup Global Markets in connection to the issuance of senior secured notes in the total amount of $1.1bn to refinance the project finance for FPSO Cidade de Mangaratiba MV24, owned by Cernambi Sul MV24 and operated by Modec.
- Advised Engie in the acquisition finance for the acquisition by it and CDPQ of a 90% stake in Transportadora Associada de Gás – TAG.