Firms To Watch: Hydrocarbons

A reference in maritime law, Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados is well placed to assist oil and gas clients in regulatory, contractual, corporate and tax matters related to the Brazilian offshore support market; based in Rio de Janeiro, Camila Mendes Vianna Cardoso and Godofredo Mendes Vianna jointly lead the team.

Hydrocarbons in Brazil

Mattos Filho

Full-service powerhouse firm Mattos Filho possesses market-leading capabilities across the full scope of matters pertaining to the oil and gas sector. With a strong presence in ‘the most complex issues and leading cases‘ in this space, the practice is singled out for its skills in high-end transactions, spanning stock and asset purchases, financings, issuance of debentures, and project implementation. Covering the entire value chain, the group is the first port of call for several exploration and production (E&P) and downstream clients and companies from the natural gas segment, as well as banks and private equity firms. The highly regarded Giovani Loss, a treble-qualified partner (in Brazil, England and Wales, and New York), has a wealth of experience in M&A, financing deals and regulatory issues in the hydrocarbons sector. Felipe Rodrigues Caldas Feres regularly works in M&A transactions and projects in the natural gas, biofuels and petroleum industries, and is also sought out for his contractual and regulatory expertise; these are also areas of activity for Bruno Chedid. Key practitioners also include senior associate Danielle Ludwig, whose international background is noteworthy, and Nilton Mattos.


‘It is a full service firm in which most areas have partners and associates who stand out for their technical knowledge and client service. In addition, they deliver excellent quality work, even if deadlines are short, are innovative and always thinking “outside the box” to better serve clients, especially in more complex cases.’

‘All partners and associates listed below are distinguished by their high technical knowledge, in addition to outstanding client service: Felipe Rodrigues Caldas Feres; Nilton Mattos; Bruno Chedid; Danielle Ludwig.’

‘Full-service firm that works on the most complex issues, leading cases, and has great relationships with regulatory agencies.’

‘Nilton Mattos is a problem solver; he is very hands-on, and has an outstanding knowledge of the O&G and shipping sectors; he is a step ahead in predicting and mitigating problems.’

‘The team is the best prepared in the country. No one dominates the subject better. Giovani Loss stands out.’

Key clients







Trident Energy

BW Energy


BTG Pactual


New Fortress Energy

Origem Energia

3R Petroleum



Norsk Hydro


Aguila Capital


Work highlights

  • Advised Seacrest Capital on the acquisition of Norte Capixaba Cluster for $544m from Petrobras.
  • Advised Commit Gás on the sale of its minority shares in three gas companies to local state governments for R$723m.
  • Assisted Ream Participações in the acquisition of the Refinaria Isaac Sabbá (Reman) from Petrobras for $257m.

Tauil & Chequer Advogados

A premier choice for oil and gas clients engaged in sophisticated transactions and complex regulatory matters, Tauil & Chequer Advogados fields a sizeable team of specialists whose expertise spans the upstream, midstream and downstream segments. The group, which is a popular choice for E&P companies, banks, private equity clients and funds, manages a busy workload where high-value M&A, financings and project development feature alongside regulatory and litigation matters. A reference in the national market, Alexandre Chequer has advised on the largest oil and gas projects in Brazil; he splits his time between Rio de Janeiro and Houston, where he offers assistance to clients in transactions, regulatory issues and project development. Corporate and M&A specialist Bruno Belchior is often retained by leading industry players – including floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) operators, drilling companies and oilfield service providers – in deals across the hydrocarbons value chain. M&A and project development are core areas of focus for Victor Galante, while Tiago Macêdo stands out for his regulatory expertise. Recently promoted partner Luciana Sodré handles contractual and transactional matters in the oil and gas sector. Senior associate Henrique Rojas is proficient in cross-border asset acquisitions and projects, and associate Leandro Duarte Alves regularly assists hydrocarbons companies in Brazil and Africa. Juliana Pizzolato Furtado Senna joined the Rio de Janeiro office from Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados in September 2023.

Practice head(s):

Alexandre Chequer


‘Comprehensive solutions and analysis offered with pace.’

‘Bruno Belchior and Henrique Rojas stand out.’

Key clients


Qatar Energy


Yara Fertilizantes Brasil

Petro Rio





MISC Berhad


TAG – Transportadora Associada de Gás

Refinaria Mataripe





Petro Recôncavo

Forbes & Manhattan Resources

BTG Pactual

Estaleiro Jurong Aracruz


Infra Gás e Energia



Equinor ASA – Angola

Tricon Energy

BP Gas & Power

BP Products North America

Grepar Participações


Work highlights

  • Acted for PetroRio in the acquisition of Albacora Leste Field and related infrastructure from Petrobras in the context of its divestment process.
  • Assisted PETRONAS and QatarEnergies in the unique global upstream transaction combining both the acquisition of Petrobras assets and an E&P license offered by the Brazilian government.
  • Advised CNOOC Group on the acquisition of Petrobras’s 5% stake in the production sharing contract of the Búzios field, in the amount of R$10.3bn.

Cescon Barrieu

At Cescon Barrieu, the oil and gas team is well versed in big-ticket, sector-specific transactions, including M&A, project development, capital markets and financings. The lattermost area is a key strength for the department, which is a strong performer in the financing of FPSOs and drilling rigs operating in Brazilian waters. With a strong presence in the natural gas segment, the team is also well placed to act in contractual, regulatory and litigation mandates. Leading the department is Rafael Baleroni, who is regularly retained by foreign clients in Brazilian law matters within the hydrocarbons sector; his expertise encompasses E&P, offshore assets, natural gas and downstream matters ranging from financing to contract negotiation and litigation.

Practice head(s):

Rafael Baleroni

Key clients

GeoPark Limited

Seadrill Limited

Associação Brasileira de Produtores Independentes de Petróleo e Gás – ABPIP

Nova Transportadora do Sudeste – NTS

Yinson Boronia

Shell Brasil Petróleo Limitada



VLI Multimodal


Work highlights

  • Assisted Altera and Ocyan in the negotiations of an operation and maintenance agreement for two offshore production units located at the offshore oil field Papaterra, being acquired by 3R Petroleum.
  • Advised VLI on negotiations with a fuels distribution company for the direct wholesale purchase of diesel oil by an unincorporated joint venture between VLI and FCA.
  • Assisting NTS in all matters regarding the construction of the Itaboraí Guapimirim pipeline (GASIG).

Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados

Under the leadership of Daniel Szyfman, Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados has played a key role in the recent opening up of the Brazilian gas and refinery markets through its involvement in Petrobras’s major divestment plan. M&A in the upstream segment remains a core area of focus for the team, which has been increasingly engaged in energy transition mandates. Practice head Szyfman stands out for his involvement in decarbonisation projects – including carbon capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen and biofuels – and complex transactional and regulatory matters. A key contact for natural gas clients, Maria Fernanda Soares has been instrumental in discussions related to the reshaping of the domestic gas market; her broad practice covers transactions, projects and regulatory matters. With over 15 years of experience in the oil, natural gas and biofuels sector, Fernando Xavier takes the lead on E&P and downstream mandates, including deals and administrative proceedings. At the associate level, Mariele Milhorance focuses on natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and energy transition, while Raphael Barboza Correia is particularly active in the onshore, shallow-water and mature fields sectors.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Szyfman

Schmidt, Valois, Miranda, Ferreira & Agel Advogados

Recognised as one of the best in the energy sector, especially in the oil and gas space‘, Schmidt, Valois, Miranda, Ferreira & Agel Advogados acts for an impressive roster of clients operating in all hydrocarbons segments. Transactional, regulatory and project development matters are strong points for the department, which has also been active handling energy transition mandates. Private equity firms, financial institutions, international and domestic oil companies (IOCs and NOCs) routinely turn to Paulo Valois Pires for advice on M&A, projects and tenders promoted by the Brazilian National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels. Rogério Sobral De Miranda is an ‘experienced lawyer with a solid technical background‘ in cross-border deals involving natural resources and infrastructure projects. Project finance in the oil and gas sector is a key specialism for Isabela Faria, while Eduardo Cirne Lima focuses on M&A, corporate restructurings and commercial contracts.

Practice head(s):

Paulo Valois Pires; Rogério Miranda


‘The firm is recognised as one of the best in the energy sector, especially in the oil and gas space.’

‘I have had a very professional relationship with Paulo Valois.’

‘Schmidt Valois is a firm that stands out for its partnership, providing services with quality and flexibility in contracting.’

Key clients

EDF Norte Fluminense

MTI Energy

MTI Energy Inc and Nova Técnica Energy

Braserv Petróleo

Great Holdings

Mota Engil

Petrobras BR Distribuidora

Verde Brasil




Repsol Sinopec

Enerflex Energia

Nova Técnica Energy


Work highlights

  • Assisted Great Holdings in the capital raise structure finance through the issuance of a debenture to foster the upstream activities of Great Holdings in Brazil and abroad.
  • Assisted Braserv Petróleo in a bid promoted by Petrobras for the charter of a Jack-Up Rig.
  • Assisted Great Holdings in the negotiation of a joint venture with an international supplier for the provision of offshore and onshore services in Brazil.

Campos Mello Advogados in cooperation with DLA Piper

Praised for its capabilities in regulatory and M&A matters, the oil and gas team at Campos Mello Advogados in cooperation with DLA Piper offers legal support to a range of clients operating in the upstream, midstream and downstream segments in Brazil. In addition to asset and stock deals, financings and contractual matters, the team is also proficient in guiding oil and gas companies in their energy transition efforts, covering advice on carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), bio-CCS, hydrogen, and offshore wind. Transactional and regulatory partner Alexandre Calmon has over two decades of experience acting for clients in the oil and gas and wider energy sectors. He oversees the team with Marcelo Frazão, who is recommended for M&A, financings and multi-jurisdictional projects involving offshore infrastructure, ships and maritime terminals, and dispute resolution specialist João Marçal Martins. Senior associate Patricia Winter undertakes a range of contractual work in this space, ranging from engineering, procurement, construction and installation contracts to bareboat charters. Associate Larianne Sampaio joined from Tauil & Chequer Advogados in May 2022, while former Veirano Advogados‘ partners Rogerio Campos and Marcelo Mattos arrived in July and September 2023, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Alexandre Calmon; Marcelo Frazão; João Marçal Martins


‘The firm does an excellent job. Alexandre Calmon and Marcelo Frazão are incredible. Unrivalled experience in regulatory and M&A matters.’

Key clients

Cobra O&G Group

Perenco O&G

Karoon Petróleo e Gás


Total Energies






National Oilwell Varco (NOV)


Porto Sudeste

Bunker One

Misc Berhad

Baker Hughes



Wintershall DEA

Great Holdings



Maritime Consortium of Thessaloniki Inc – MCT

Work highlights

  • Advised Cobra Group on the acquisition of the Carmópolis Cluster, a $1.1bn acquisition.
  • Advised Eneva on the $1.3bn acquisition of CELSEPAR and CEBARRA, as well as the indirect 100% equity interest held by CELSEPAR in CELSE.
  • Assisting FS, a Brazilian biofuels and renewable energy company, in the structuring of the first project in Brazil to implement a Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage system (BECCS).

Pinheiro Neto Advogados

Pinheiro Neto Advogados’ versatile practice has a strong reputation for handling complex and high-value transactions involving oil and gas assets. The firm, which is present in all hydrocarbons segments, also attracts instructions from domestic and foreign players in relation to regulatory matters concerning the reorganisation of the Brazilian oil and gas industry in the wake of Petrobras’s divestment plan. Marcelo Viveiros de Moura has worked on several multi-jurisdictional and local transactions on behalf of major IOCs. The ‘brilliantMarcello Lobo is a key point of contact for clients from the hydrocarbons sector, who are engaged in M&A, joint ventures and financing deals with regulatory implications. Other names to note include Francisco Werneck Maranhão, who brings together expertise in regulatory issues, corporate reorganisations and financings, and Raphael Moraes Paciello, another reference in the team for M&A and joint ventures in the oil and gas space.


‘Firm of reference in the country for the quality and ethics in the provision of services.’

‘Marcello Lobo is a brilliant lawyer, with creative solutions and a collaborative style.’

Key clients


Nova Transportadora do Sudeste – NTS

Subsea 7

Macquarie Energy North America Trading










Afton Chemical

Goldman Sachs


Work highlights

  • Acted as external counsel to MENAT in a back-to-back trading transaction in which MENAT purchases diesel from Ipiranga Trading and sells such diesel to Oil Trading Importadora e Exportadora.
  • Assisted Bracell in the due diligence and negotiation of the transaction documents regarding the purchase and sale of a gas station belonging to Lwart Soluções Ambientais.
  • Structured Lubrizol’s defence and strategy in relation to the administrative proceedings before ANP, regarding the alleged failure of the company in complying with the regulatory obligation to send information to the agency periodically.

Trench Rossi Watanabe

Trench Rossi Watanabe's multidisciplinary practice is capable of advising clients from the oil and gas sector on a host of matters, including transactions, regulatory issues and dispute resolution. The lattermost is a particular area of strength for the team, which is also sought out by Brazilian and international hydrocarbon companies in relation to cross-border M&A, project development and ESG compliance. The practice, which benefits from a close relationship with relevant regulatory bodies, is well placed to handle energy transition matters on behalf of petroleum companies and oilfield service providers, demonstrating notable expertise in biogas, CCUS technology and hydrogen. Its cooperation with Baker McKenzie make it a go-to for mandates involving the international trading of crude oil and its by-products. Danielle Valois is at the helm of the group, which also includes Gabriela Bezerra Fischer, a key contact for transactional matters, and associate André Sarian, who is currently on secondment.

Practice head(s):

Danielle Valois


‘First rate team!’

Key clients


Pré-sal Petróleo


BP Energy do brasil


PTT Exploration and Production LLC




Vibra Energia


BassDrill Brasil Serviços de Petróleo

Diamond Offshore Drilling



Tokyo Gas



Instituto Brasileiro de Petróleo – IBP

Baker Hughes


Estaleiro Jurong Aracruz


Associação de Empresas de Transporte de Gás Natural por Gasoduto – ATGÁS



Rhone Capital

Nova Transportadora Sudeste – NTS

SembCorp Marine

Mitsubishi Power

Work highlights

  • Acting for ATGás in the development and implementation of actions to challenge the authorisation provided by the natural gas regulatory agency of São Paulo for the local gas distribution company (Comgás) to construct and operate Subida da Serra pipeline.
  • Represents the consortium of Petrobras, Petrogal and Shell in litigation against the Brazilian National Petroleum Agency (ANP).
  • Advised Vibra on the acquisition of 50% of the voting shares of ZEG Biogás e Energia Zeg Biogás.

Vieira, Rezende, Barbosa e Guerreiro Advogados

With a loyal following of clients from the oil, gas and offshore sectors, Vieira, Rezende, Barbosa e Guerreiro Advogados has the ability to act in bidding rounds and administrative discussions before the National Petroleum Agency (ANP), and is also well versed in M&A transactions involving E&P assets. Recently, several clients have turned to the firm for assistance with transactional matters arising out of Petrobras’s divestment programme, and have also sought advice on the new gas framework, and the development of projects in the midstream and downstream segments. Led by Daniela Ribeiro Davila, the team has developed a strong reputation among offshore services providers. Davila is a key contact for the international offshore market, with a special focus on Norway. Ricardo Martinez De Almeida is a reference in the natural gas space, where he handles project development, M&A and administrative proceedings. Thiago Luiz Pereira Da Silva‘s core areas of focus include E&P and downstream projects, while Maria Carolina Tavares Priolli is a seasoned associate in Brazilian natural gas regulatory and contractual issues.

Practice head(s):

Daniela Ribeiro Davila

Key clients

TotalEnergies EP Brasil

Equinor Brasil

Portocem Geração de Energia


BW Offshore

Aker Solutions do Brasil

DBO Energy

Höegh LNG

Stena LNG


Odjell Drilling



Galp Group


Work highlights

  • Assists Portocém in mapping the applicable licensing in a project to be the first entity in Brazil to directly negotiate the construction and operation of a dedicated pipeline to a powerplant with Companhia de Gás do Ceará (CEGAS).
  • Assists Höegh LNG in preparing an offer to Compass Gas e Energia for chartering and operating a regasification unit (FRSU) in the Santos Port, São Paulo, which will be connected to a thermoelectric power plant.
  • Assists the joint venture between BW Offshore and Saipem for the construction (EPCI), charter and operation and maintenance (O&M) of a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit for Shell do Brasil.

Demarest Advogados

Upstream, midstream and downstream clients routinely turn to Demarest Advogados for assistance in high-end transactions and regulatory matters. In addition to advising on bidding rounds promoted by the ANP and asset deals, the firm is also proficient in the development of onshore and offshore projects, matters involving fuel distribution and disputes related to carbon credits. The oil and gas practice is under the joint leadership of David Meiler, who acts for large and independent oil companies and service providers in this space, and João Luis Almeida, ‘an excellent professional’ in M&A, farm-outs, financings and regulatory matters in the upstream segment. Senior associate Roberta Batalha has recently been engaged in pre-salt bid rounds and several transactional matters. Bárbara Bittencourt left the firm in February 2023.

Practice head(s):

David Meiler; João Luis Almeida


‘In addition to being a firm of recognised professional qualification in various areas, Demarest provides us with valuable services in the oil and gas area, through the team led by David Meiler, with whom we have a very longstanding and very positive relationship.’

‘The firm has a differentiated expertise, and partners with high technical commitment.’

‘João Almeida is an excellent professional and distinguishes himself from his competitors by his technical capacity.’

Key clients


3R Petroleum Óleo E Gas

Murphy Oil Corporation

Transportadora Sulbrasileira De Gás – Tsb

World Fuel (Terrana)

Petrom Produção De Petroleo E Gas

Petroleum Geo-Services

Royal Fic


National Oilwell Varco

Maha Energy

CHC Helicopters

Noble Energy

Maersk Supply Services

Etesco Construções E Comércio


Work highlights

  • Advised QatarEnergy as a bidder in the 2nd Transfer of Rights Surplus Bidding Round promoted by ANP.
  • Advised QatarEnergy as a bidder in the Production Sharing Open Acreage promoted by ANP, regarding blocks located in the pre-salt area.
  • Acted for Maersk Drilling in the negotiations with Shell Brasil for the chartering of the drilling unit Maersk Developer (semi-submersible platform DSS-21).

Lefosse Advogados

Adept in the review of complex oil and gas contracts‘, Lefosse Advogados is present in the downstream, midstream and upstream segments, demonstrating particular strength in gas-to-power projects. The team handles a mix of regulatory, projects, contentious and transactional matters, but is best known for its deal-making and cross-border capabilities. Led by the highly regarded Felipe Boechem, the department has continued to expand its client roster, most notably in the fuels and biofuels production and distribution sectors. Key support is offered by senior associate André Lemos, who specialises in project development in the hydrocarbons space, and senior lawyer Pedro Salarini. The firm’s infrastructure and projects service offering was reinforced by the addition of Miriam Signor in April 2022, who joined from Stocche Forbes Advogados.

Practice head(s):

Felipe Boechem


‘Adept in the review of complex oil and gas contracts.’

‘Lefosse is a full-service law firm on the rise, with an increasingly experienced and innovative team.’

‘Felipe Boechem stands out for his technical quality. He provides services with high added value.’

‘I’d highlight André Lemos.’

‘Felipe Boechem is a superstar.’

Key clients

Petrogal Brasil – Galp


New Fortress Energy


Shell Brasil Petróleo

Equinor Brasil

Petróleo Brasileiro – Petrobras

BR Distribuidora (Vibra Energia)

Enauta Participações


BP Global Investments Limited

Marlim Azul (Arke Energia)

Great Holding Group

IBP – Brazilian Petroleum and Gas Institute

Totalenergies EP Brazil Ltda.

Total Brasil Distribuidora Ltda. (Total’s Downstream Branch)


Transportadora Associada de Gás (TAG)

Nova Transportadora do Sudeste – NTS

Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (CBA)

ADM do Brasil

Petrochina PetroChina International (Brazil) Trading

Strohm Brasil

Expro Brasil Serviços

Trident Energy do Brasil


Bunker One

Work highlights

  • Advised BP on the restructuring of GNA II, a gas-to-power project that integrates the natural gas complex developed at Açu port by Prumo, BP, Siemens, Siemens Energy and SPIC.
  • Acting for ENEVA in the structuring, drafting and negotiation of its joint venture with ENAUTA in connection with the development of gas-to-power projects.
  • Assisted Transpetro in the negotiations with Holding GV Participações of the leasing agreement of the Oil Terminal located in Mucuripi (state of Ceará).

Stocche Forbes Advogados

The ‘extremely well-prepared team‘ at Stocche Forbes Advogados is commended by clients for its ‘deep knowledge‘ of the oil and gas sector. With a strong track record in financing and corporate transactions involving hydrocarbons companies and assets, the team is also a solid performer in public bids, divestments and matters before regulatory agencies. Guilherme Forbes, a key contact for M&A and financings in this space, oversees the team with four other practitioners: Frederico Moura and Bruno Gandolfo, who focus on project finance; administrative and regulatory law specialist Mariana Saragoça; and Marco Saliba. Public procurement, regulatory issues and administrative agreements are core areas of activity for associate Julia Barker, while Ana Clara Viola works in project development and contract management.

Practice head(s):

Guilherme Forbes; Frederico Moura; Bruno Gandolfo; Mariana Saragoça; Marco Saliba


‘Extremely well prepared team, with deep knowledge of the sector and with availability and ease of access.’

Key clients

Morgan Stanley

Petro Rio

Syndicate of secured lenders composed by Citibank, BNP Paribas, ING Capital and others

Engie Group

Vibra Energia

New Fortress Energy


Forbes & Manhattan Resources

EIG Group

Nova Transportadora do Sudeste – NTS

Work highlights

  • Advised Forbes & Manhattan Resources on the acquisition of Paraná Xisto.
  • Advised various lenders on the restructuring of the $1.5bn project financings of three drill ships, owned by Constellation’s subsidiaries, which operate in Brazil under bareboat charter agreements with Petrobras.
  • Advised BTG Pactual and Santander regarding the public offering with restrict placement efforts of the first issue of debentures by Petro Rio Jaguar Petróleo.

Veirano Advogados

At Veirano Advogados, the oil, gas and biofuels team acts for a varied client roster, ranging from refineries and distribution companies to midstream players, E&P clients and service providers. Though prepared to assist in the full array of matters relating to the hydrocarbons sector, the team is particularly adept in transactional and regulatory mandates. Ali El Hage Filho, a ‘partner in the oil and gas area with extensive in-house experience‘, manages a diverse workload where regulatory advice features alongside deals and commercial agreements. Associate Tito Rosa is another name to note for contractual matters, administrative proceedings and regulatory issues. The team was reinforced by the addition of Livia Amorim and Fabio Di Lallo from Souto Correa Advogados in October 2023. Former practice head Rogerio Campos left the firm in July 2023.

Practice head(s):

Ali Hage


‘The department at Veirano Advogados is focused, careful and engaged. They act as a strategic extension to the client, complementing our vision with useful suggestions.’

‘Full-service firm with a very well integrated multidisciplinary team.’

‘Ali Hage – partner in the oil and gas area with extensive in-house experience. Always available and ready to allocate the best professionals for each job.’

Key clients







Carmo Energy




Yinson Production

Frank’s International

Deepwater Corrosion Services


Refinaria RioGrandense




Compagnie Maritime Monegasque

Fenix Group

Work highlights

  • Assisted Yinson in the execution and early performance matters in the FPSO for the Parque das Baleias Project.
  • Advising Companhia de Gás de São Paulo – Comgás on the drafting and negotiation of two long-term sale and purchase agreements for the supply of biomethane to the client.
  • Advising Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on all matters related to a natural gas project located in the Sergipe-Alagoas basin.