Energy and natural resources in Venezuela


With the backing of its reputed corporate practice, D'Empaire is regularly involved in significant transactions in the oil-and-gas sector. Recent mandates saw Carlos Omaña and Fulvio Italiani lead a team advising Maurel & Prom on its acquisitions of Shell’s stake in joint venture Petroregional del Lago. Other work saw the 'ever-active' Italiani and Roberto Mas assisting Chevron with the restructuring of an oil joint venture in the Orinoco Belt; while Arnoldo Troconis and dispute resolution expert José Humberto Frías were instructed by Repsol in connection with an ICC arbitration involving an EPC contract.


Clients appreciate Dentons for its 'very reliable and responsive practice, which delivers a professional and insightful work product'. The team handles a broad variety of matters, such as contractual work and restructuring, as well as transactions and financing. The last year saw the team active on behalf of clients including Schlumberger, Austrian integrated oil-and-gas company OMV and CNPC, which are longstanding clients of the practitioners. Noted team members include Daniela Jaimes, who is described as 'diligent and thoughtful', Sergio CasinelliRubén Eduardo Luján and Luis AnduezaNatalija Vojvodic combines energy expertise with corporate, commercial and finance knowledge.

Led by the experienced Miguel Rivero, the team at Leĝa Abogados stands out for its expertise in advising on international financing structures and regulatory matters in particular. It regularly counsels clients on the development, construction and transactional side of oil-and-gas, power and infrastructure projects. Rivero, together with junior partner José Alberto Ramírez and counsel Simón Herrera, assisted CGG with a potential agreement with PDVSA for the acquisition of marine seismic data concerning the Venezuelan seabed. Other work saw the practice group advise the Venezuelan Association of Gas Processors (AVPG) and Wood Group, among others, on various issues.

Baker & McKenzie, S.C.

Baker & McKenzie, S.C. was the first international firm to enter Venezuela over 50 years ago and is deeply experienced in handling commercial and regulatory compliance matters for national and foreign oil-and-gas companies. Eugenio Hernández-Bretón leads the team, with his recent matters including advice to Total and Statoil on various regulatory issues. Other work included assisting Repsol with aspects of the new Constitutional Law on Foreign Investments. Maria Eugenia Salazar counseled Nabors on financial issues and foreign investment. Senior associate Hector Martinez is well versed in advising companies on their relations with the PDVSA and the Venezuela Government.

InterJuris Abogados

Praised for being an 'extremely experienced team with a broad understanding of the energy market', InterJuris Abogados is 'capable of handling any deal in the industry, from upstream to downstream, as well as project finance'. The practice is led by Gabriela Rachadell de Delgado, who is considered an 'outstanding attorney' and has 'hands-on experience in the industry'. Together with the 'extremely knowledgeableJuan José Delgado, she assisted Paul Hastings LLP with the review and audit of oil-and-gas agreements for Ecopetrol. The team's impressive client portfolio also includes Sinoconst and Rosneft. María Cecilia Rachadell is 'one of the brightest lawyers in Venezuela'. Other noted practitioners are Luis Ortiz Álvarez, Houston-based José María RivasAdriana Lezcano Huncal in Switzerland and Ira Vergani Bertozzi in Canada. All lawyers are currently based in Miami unless stated otherwise.

Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Paez Pumar & Cia.

Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Paez Pumar & Cia.'s team has noteworthy experience in company law, corporate matters and project financing. It is also well versed in negotiating with the public entities in the energy sector; the team was recently mandated by Solsica to handle all matters regarding the negotiation, instrumentation and follow-up of legal issues with private and state companies. Carlos Eduardo AcedoEsteban Palacios and Manuel Acedo Sucre, who have corporate, dispute resolution and tax expertise, respectively form a comprehensive team. Carlos Páez Pumar and recently promoted Diego Lepervanche are also noted.


The team at ARAQUEREYNA advises primarily prvate sector clients on corproate matters in the oil segment. The team handles project finance and advisory work for a diverse client roster including  international companies, traders, regulators and investors. Roberto Strauss is well versed in commercial and corporate aspects in the hydrocarbons area.  Pedro Planchart and Pedro Sosa are other contacts in the practice group.

Rodríguez & Mendoza

Rodríguez & Mendoza is well versed in a wide range of matters in the oil-and-gas sector. The team has been active on restructurings as well as negotiations and the structuring of the financing of oil projects. Reinaldo Hellmund is a reputed lawyer in the field, who is also approached for advice on exploitation and joint venture matters.

Torres, Plaz & Araujo

Torres, Plaz & Araujo is noted for its capabilities in the oil-and-gas sector; the team regularly advises on regulatory and commercial matters, as well as on corporate-tax structuring and corporate finance for projects. An additional niche area  of expertise is drilling contracts, both onshore and offshore. The team is co-led by Valentina Cabrera and Juan Carlos Garantón-Blanco, whose tax expertise is highlighted.

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz

Eduardo Travieso Uribe and Simón Guevara Camacho are the noted energy specialists at the well regarded Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz. The pair bring additional finance and corporate experties, respectively, to their activities in the sector. Recent work includes mandates from foreign oil and drilling companies, and it was paricularly active as regards the natural gas segment.