Energy and natural resources in Ecuador

Ferrere

Clients praise Ferrere Ecuador for its 'deep knowledge of the industry and applicable regulations'. Besides handling projects and transactions, the team regularly provides day-to-day legal advice to companies from the oil and gas, power generation and mining sectors. Practice head Andrés Donoso assists CPVEN with daily operations concerning a $435m investment in two service contracts for oilfields with Petroamazonas. Other clients include Equinox Gold, Repsol and OCP. Javier Robalino-Orellana is particularly experienced in disputes. Senior associate Rafael Valdivieso is 'outstanding' and counsel Álvaro Ordóñez has particular expertise in the mining sector.

Pérez Bustamante & Ponce

The highly regarded team at Pérez Bustamante & Ponce covers the full gamut of energy work spanning mining, oil and gas, electricity and renewables matters. The team stands out in particular for its tax and compliance expertise. Practice co-head Sebastián Pérez Arteta advises mining company Codelco on project structuring and negotiations with state-owned company Enami. Senior associate María Isabel Aillón-Vásconez assists the same client with mining law and regulations as well as handling commercial work. Francisco Roldán-Cobo, who jointly leads the group with Pérez Arteta, was part of a team advising Repsol and Andes Petroleum Ecuador on various tax amnesty matters. Jaime Zaldumbide is well versed in oil and mining questions while Rodrigo Jijón is experienced in energy disputes. Other key team members include Édgar Acosta Grijalva and associate Patricio Albuja, who joined in April 2018 from Bracewell LLP.

Bustamante & Bustamante

Bustamante & Bustamante's team which is experienced in risk assessments, compliance issues and the establishment of operations within the energy industry, is a popular choice for international companies. Juan Carlos Bustamante and Roque Bernardo Bustamante jointly lead the practice; the latter recently advised oil exploration company Geopark on entering the Ecuadorian market, particularly on the bidding processes for oil contracts with the government. Other clients include Anglo American, BHP and Mitsubishi. Juan Felipe Bustamante Crespo knows the mining sector well. Senior associate Ximena Cabezas is also noted.

Flor & Hurtado

The 10-strong team at Flor & Hurtado combines experience in areas including corporate, finance and tax with knowledge of the oil, gas and mining sectors. Highlights included advising Canadian company Toachi Mining on the takeover of the operations of the La Plata project as well as assisting Ecometals with a settlement agreement with its main local creditor to incorporate securities to assure the payment of outstanding debts. The team also has expertise in the hydrocarbons sector. Andrés Ycaza Palacios is experienced in mining, regulatory and administrative law and Agustin Hurtado Larrea has notable strengths in the oil-and-gas sector; the pair co-lead the practice. Senior associate Juan Carlos Herrera joined in January 2019 from IMB Abogados; fellow senior Alejandra Soriano, and associates Alejandro Pérez and Carlos Torres, are also noted.

ECIJA GPA

Gonzalez Peñaherrera & Asociados has considerable experience in the oil and gas sector but is also active in mining, infrastructure and sustainable electricity matters. Practice head Gonzalo González Galarza has more than 35 years of experience; he obtained a favourable arbitration award for Consortium Block 18 in a dispute against the Ecuadorian government relating to compensation for a unilateral termination and breach of contract by the latter. Bayardo Poveda advised Enap Sipetrol on contract drafting Other key individuals include Patricio Merizalde and associate Gustavo Arrobo. Iván Vallejo moved to an in-house position with EP Petroecuador.

Tobar ZVS Spingarn

The team at Tobar ZVS Spingarn advises on the full gamut of energy, natural resources and infrastructure matters, with particular expertise in mining. Practice head César Zumárraga assisted Lumina Gold with an earn-in agreement for developing the Cascas and Orquideas mining concessions and also advised the same client on the structuring of an earn-in joint venture agreement with Anglo American for the development of the Pegasus and Luz mining projects. The client portfolio also includes Conerstone Capital Resources, Solgold and Titeline Drilling. Senior associate Juan Fernando Larrea Savinovich is another key practitioner.

Noboa, Peña & Torres, Abogados

Noboa, Peña & Torres, Abogados is regularly engaged by national and international investors to handle matters including bidding processes and negotiations with governmental authorities, among others. Recent highlights include Sebastián Cortez Merlo 's assitance to Grupo Cobra-Avanzia regarding the bidding process -and subsequent negotiation of a risk service contract- concerning the client's $350m investment in the Cuyabeno-Sansahuari field. Cortez jointly leads the practice with Marcelo Torres whose practice includes energy, mining, public contracting and concessions, coprorate M&A and administrative matters. In September 2019, in a significant move that will further strengthen its energy and natural resources offering, the firm hired Rafael Pástor (from Quevedo & Ponce), as partner-in-charge of environmental law.

Paz Horowitz Abogados

The team at Paz Horowitz Abogados has experience in advising on engineering and acquisition contracts, investment planning and regulatory matters. Recent highlights include the group assisting Enami with creating a legal structure for an investment agreement with Codelco. Agustin Acosta Cárdenas advised Gransolar on a PPP regarding a solar energy project in the Galapagos Islands. Other noteworthy practitioners include practice head Jorge Paz DuriniJuan Carlos Pérez and associate Maria del Mar Heredia.

Pino Elizalde Abogados

Pino Elizalde AbogadosDaniel Pino advises clients from the oil, mineral and metal industry on a variety of matters, including project finance and development, and the international trading of mineral concentrate. He advises an international metal trader on the financing aspects of the acquisition of materials. Marco A ElizaldeJaime Arosemena and associate Fernanda Guzmán are also noted.

Romero Arteta Ponce

Led by Gustavo Romero, the team at Romero Arteta Ponce has notable strengths in the oil and gas sector. Recent work includes advising Toyota Tsusho on its registration with national oil company, Petroecuador, in order to purchase crude oil. Other clients include Schlumberger, Siemens and Suelopetrol. Diego RomeroAmparo Romero and associate Carmen Gómez are also key contacts.

Sempértegui Ontaneda Abogados

Sempértegui Ontaneda Abogados has considerable experience in the mining sector, where it advises national and international clients. The team is led by Gabriela Salazar, who also has strengths in contractual and labour law. Julián Pástor Soto handled a variety of matters for Belorusneft, including tax and corporate issues and negotiations with the state. He is also advising Ecuaservoil on the execution of a contract with the state. Other clients include Curiming and INV Metals. Henry Troya Figueroa, who was formerly vice president of the Ministry of Energy and Mining, is a new hire. Former practice co-head Leonardo Sempertegui left to become general legal counsel at Opec and Pablo Mencías Cisneros left for an executive director position at Integraley Estudio Jurídico.