Energy and natural resources in Venezuela

D'Empaire

The energy team at D'Empaire remains highly active in the oil and gas sector, advising major multinational clients on their operations in Venezuela. Recent highlights include assisting Repsol with its joint venture with state-owned oil and gas company PDVSA; the team also advises on M&A in the industry. The experienced quartet of Fulvio Italiani, Carlos Omaña, Arnoldo Troconis and Roberto Mas leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Fulvio Italiani; Carlos Omaña; Arnoldo Troconis; Roberto Mas

Key clients

Repsol

Petrolera RN (formerly Rosneft)

Eni

Maurel & Prom

Weatherford

Inepetrol

Seadrill

Work highlights

  • Advising Repsol on its joint ventures with PDVSA.

Dentons

Highlighted for its ‘global reach‘, international firm Dentons is well placed to advise energy sector clients on the impact of foreign sanctions. The team stands out for its expertise in the oil and gas industry, with an impressive client base that includes both exploration and production and services companies, while other areas of strength include the mining and power sectors. In addition to handling significant transactions in the Venezuelan energy market, the team advises on day-to-day corporate, regulatory and tax issues. The sizeable team is led by Sergio Casinelli, who focuses on regulatory matters and corporate transactions; Natalija Vojvodic; Daniela Jaimes, whose practice spans projects, regulatory and sanctions issues; and Rubén Eduardo Luján. Luis Ernesto Andueza is also noted for regulatory and public law matters.

Practice head(s):

Sergio Casinelli; Natalija Vojvodic; Daniela Jaimes; Rubén Eduardo Luján

Testimonials

‘They have in-depth knowledge and experience in the energy and natural resources sectors in Venezuela going back many years. The team are very reliable and have a global reach.’

‘Daniela Jaimes is very responsive. She understands our business and is a very capable and reliable lawyer.’

Key clients

Mitsubishi

Compañía General de Combustibles

OMV

Schlumberger

CNPC

InterJuris Abogados

Operating from offices around the world, the energy team at InterJuris Abogados advises a wide range of international clients on corporate and regulatory matters in the sector, and has recently been particularly active in assisting oil and gas companies and funds from the Middle East. In particular, the firm stands out for its expertise in the financing of joint venture companies for the exploration and development of oil reserves, as well as advising on project finance, construction and licensing matters. In the firm's Madrid and Miami offices, the key contacts are practice head Gabriela Rachadell de Delgado and Juan José Delgado. Fernando Ríos Morillo is the name to note in the Caracas office, with a focus on tax issues.

Practice head(s):

Gabriela Rachadell de Delgado

Key clients

Inpex

DLA Piper

Mitsubishi

Vinccler

Geohidra

Instituto de Empresas Madrid

Inelectra

Hafran

Grupo Temis

Work highlights

  • Advised Inpex on its exit from natural gas joint venture Project Gas Guarico.
  • Advised Mitsubishi on its exit from oil and gas joint venture project Carabobo 3.
  • Advised on the corporate liquidation of Inpex.

Lega

The ‘excellent multidisciplinary team‘ at Leĝa Abogados is highly experienced in advising well-known international names on corporate, finance and tax matters in the Venezuelan energy sector. The firm has notable expertise in the financing and construction of major oil and gas, power and infrastructure projects and also provides specialist advice on the complex international financing structures used by Venezuelan public sector entities. Practice head Miguel Rivero specialises in the oil and gas sector, advising on upstream, midstream and downstream matters, and in the financing of energy and mining projects. Simón Herrera, who is noted for his advice to multinational oil and gas companies on corporate transactions and projects, and regulatory expert José Alberto Ramírez are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Miguel Rivero

Testimonials

‘An excellent multidisciplinary team with oil and gas specialists who are innovative and very up to date. Something that characterises Lega is being aware of any new developments, with access to public policies and official actors in the sector, and also having an overall global, corporate, governance and technical legal vision of the sector.’

‘Our relationship with the team has always been clear and collaborative. The newsletters and events offered by the firm have been very useful in my professional practice.’

‘A law firm with extensive experience and prestige, characterised by the professionalism, timeliness and effectiveness of its services.’

Key clients

Sinopec USA

Wood

Ypergas

Sacyr Fluor

Metalurgica Premier

Scaltech International

Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR)

Gazprombank

Latin America Ventures

Venezuelan Association of Gas Processors (AVPG)

GPB Energy Services

Costa Norte Construcciones

Suelopetrol

Work highlights

  • Advising the Venezuelan Association of Gas Processors (AVPG) on its day-to-day operations.
  • Assisted GPB Energy Services with the review and amendment of an agency agreement, offtake contract and export contract, executed with Nynas and PDVSA Petróleo.
  • Advising Sacyr Fluor on the negotiation of the potential restructuring of outstanding debt with Poliolefinas Internacionales (Polinter), a subsidiary company of PDVSA.

Baker & McKenzie, S.C.

International firm Baker & McKenzie, S.C. stands out for its advice to private oil and gas companies in Venezuela on corporate transactions, regulatory compliance and contract negotiations, particularly with state-owned company PDVSA. The team counts a number of major global energy companies among its clients. Practice head Eugenio Hernández-Bretón has extensive experience advising on the financing and development of mining and oil and gas projects in Venezuela, as well as handling disputes in the sector. Maria Eugenia Salazar is highly recommended for her expertise in regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Eugenio Hernández-Bretón

Key clients

Total Energies

Helmerich & Payne

Halliburton

Braskem

Gazprom

Equinor

Eni

Schlumberger

Work highlights

  • Advising Total Energies regarding its natural gas and oil operations through a joint venture with a state-owned company in Venezuela.
  • Advising Helmerich & Payne regarding its corporate and regulatory obligations in Venezuela and assisting the client with complying with its obligations under commercial and administrative laws to maintain its subsidiary in Venezuela.
  • Advising Halliburton on environmental, criminal and labour matters, as well as corporate and tax matters regarding its subsidiary in Venezuela.

LEC Abogados

With 'outstanding knowledge' of the oil and gas sector, LEC Abogados advises major local and international clients on their operations in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America, with notable expertise in regulatory compliance, contractual negotiations and financial transactions (including debt to equity swaps for energy-related assets). In addition, the team assists energy clients with the impact of international sanctions. Practice head Juan Carlos Andrade is highly regarded for his experience in the energy sector, particularly in project finance. Arturo Jáuregui provides key support at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos Andrade

Testimonials

‘Juan Carlos Andrade has exceptional knowledge of the energy industry and very good contacts with both public and private actors.’

‘The firm has outstanding knowledge of oil and energy matters. The team is always proactive and collaborative, constantly presenting suggestions and opportunities.’

‘Juan Carlos Andrade is always attentive to clients.’

Key clients

Argos

Troil de Venezuela

Cámara Petrolera de Venezuela

Inpex Corporation

Schlumberger de Venezuela

Aggreko de Venezuela

Erepla (JV with Eroton Group and Global Oil Management Group)

Greylock Capital Management

Cementaciones Petroleras Venezolanas (CPVEN)

Maritime Contractors de Venezuela

Work highlights

  • Advising Argos on the collection of funds due to a service agreement in the electrical sector in which an American company, Corporación Andina de Fomento and an entity of the government of Venezuela were involved.
  • Providing legal, strategic, and technical advice to Troil Services on the possibility of participating in new initiatives to increase and recover oil and gas production proposed by PDVSA.
  • Advising Cámara Petrolera de Venezuela on the collection of funds due to a service agreement in the electrical sector in which an American company, Corporación Andina de Fomento and an entity of the government of Venezuela were involved.

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

Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Paez Pumar & Cia. is particularly active in advising international energy clients on corporate matters in the Venezuelan oil, gas and electricity sectors, including the negotiation of contracts with state-owned companies. Other areas of expertise include the financing of major projects, particularly in the oil industry, energy-related M&A and advice on sanctions imposed by the US and EU. Carlos Eduardo Acedo and Manuel Acedo Sucre, both of whom have extensive experience in project finance, lead the team. Diego Lepervanche and Luisa Lepervanche frequently advise on sanctions issues.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Eduardo Acedo; Esteban Palacios

Key clients

Corporación Solsica

Corporación de Cemento Andino

SA Venezolana Doméstica de Gas (Domegas)

Consorcio Euro-Bras Guri, Consorcio Euro-Bras Guri One and its participants, Andritz Hydro and Voith Hydro

Work highlights

  • Advising Corporación de Cemento Andino (a Grupo Argos subsidiary) on the expropriation procedure of a cement production complex in Venezuela, in which the tribunal ordered that the owner should be properly compensated for the loss of property.
  • Representing SA Venezolana Doméstica de Gas (Domegas) in a claim of nullity against a resolution imposing a fine issued by the Venezuela’s oil and mining ministry.
  • Advising Corporación Solsica (a former subsidiary of Emerson Electric and currently the sole distributor in Venezuela of Emerson and Vertiv products) on contractual matters, procurement and labour issues, among others.

Palacios, Torres & Korody

Palacios, Torres & Korody advises energy sector clients, including licensees, concessionaires, service providers and joint venture partners, on a wide range of project finance, tax, acquisitions and regulatory compliance issues. The practice is led by tax expert Juan Korody, who has extensive experience of advising multinational oil and gas companies, and corporate and mining specialist Carlos Plaza. Associate Juan Andrés Velutini is also noted for corporate and regulatory issues in the oil and gas sector.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Plaza; Juan Korody

Key clients

Total Oil and Gas Services

Consorcio AIT/Electroingenería

Invegas (Linde subsidiary)

Sucre Energy/Teikoku Oil and Gas

Schlumberger Venezuela

Perenco Venezuela

Logic Services

Eni Venezuela

Materiales Ceramicos Venezuela (Fiven)

Work highlights

  • Advised Total Energies on the fiscal and regulatory implications of the transfer of its participation in the Petrocedeño public-private joint venture.
  • Assisting Schlumberger with the corporate restructure of its Venezuelan entities.
  • Representing an Argentine power company in breach of contract lawsuit against a state-owned electricity company.

Rodríguez & Mendoza

Rodríguez & Mendoza focuses on the oil and gas sector, where it advises domestic and international clients on their operations in Venezuela, with a particular emphasis on project finance. Reinaldo Hellmund is the name to note.

Torres, Plaz & Araujo

Torres, Plaz & Araujo has longstanding experience advising major international oil, gas and mining companies on project finance, regulatory and commercial issues, and tax and corporate structuring. Recently, the team has been particularly active in advising foreign oil companies on the restructuring of their operations in Venezuela, including establishing joint ventures with PDVSA and obtaining licences for gas exploration and production. Juan Carlos Garantón-Blanco, Valentina Cabrera Medina and of counsel Federico Araujo Medina head the team.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos Garantón-Blanco; Valentina Cabrera Medina; Federico Araujo Medina

Key clients

BP Group

Shell Group (Shell de Venezuela)

Anglo American Group (Minera Loma de Níquel)

Rodrigo Elias & Medrano Abogados

Total Group

Exxon

Marítima Altair

Petrosaudi International

Ampelman Operations

Consorcio 400 KV

Work highlights

  • Assisting Anglo American Group (Minera Loma de Níquel) with regulatory and tax issues related to an ICSID claim over the takeover of assets in Venezuela.
  • Acting alongside Rodrigo Elias & Medrano Abogados to advise a well-known mining company in Peru on its international projects.
  • Advising BP Group on its corporate and financial structure in Venezuela.

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz

With a long track record of advising key international players in the oil and gas sector, Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz has a broad practice spanning energy-related regulatory, contractual, labour and tax matters. Simón Guevara Camacho, who has expertise in corporate and project finance matters, leads the team with finance and tax expert Eduardo Travieso Uribe. Daniela Del Vecchio, who was promoted to partner in January 2021, is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Simón Guevara Camacho; Eduardo Travieso Uribe