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The energy and natural resources practice at InterJuris Abogados has consolidated its position as a key player in the market. Its service provision ranges from legal and strategic advice to contract negotiations for clients across the oil and natural gas industries. Department head Gabriela Rachadell de Delgado is the key contact and the team has been strengthened with the arrival of Luis Ortiz Álvarez, who handles arbitration and public law; and José María Rivas, who previously held various in-house positions in the energy sector, during the past year. Clients include Rosneft and Sinoconst.

Lega is valued for its ‘thorough and high-quality work’. The firm has extensive experience in the development, construction, and financing of major oil and gas projects; furthermore, it specialises in advising companies on the design, analysis and review of complex international financing structures. The client portfolio includes key players like Valero Energy, Halliburton, and KBR. Department head Miguel Rivero has an ‘in-depth understanding of the local law’ and is noted along with José Alberto Ramírez-León, who is an expert in oil and gas regulatory work. Simón Herrera and José Gregorio Torrealba are other names to note.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s energy and natural resources department has a ‘strong comprehension’ of the area and is active with major clients such as Chevron and Mitsubishi. The firm also acts for mining company Gold Reserve, positioning it well in the market as the government’s focus for investment has broadened from oil and gas towards other natural resources. The ‘very reliableDaniela Jaimes has handled matters for China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) over the past year. Thanks to his corporate and commercial law background, department head Sergio Casinelli is also able to advise companies in the energy sector on regulatory and financing questions. As of late January 2019, the firm's Venezuelan office has been taken over by Dentons.

The energy and natural resources department at Baker & McKenzie, S.C. has strong expertise in contract evaluation and negotiation, as well as regulatory compliance work. It advises key players in the oil and gas sector, and has experience undertaking the negotiation or termination of contracts with state-owned company PDVSA. Department head Eugenio Hernández-Bretón and the ‘very knowledgeable’ María Eugenia Salazar Furiati are the names to note. Senior associate Hector Martinez also impresses with his workload.

D'Empaire’s ‘very good’ energy and natural resources department is well positioned in the market with the experienced Fulvio Italiani and Roberto Mas in its team. Among its work of the past year, the firm provided legal advice to Chevron regarding the company’s investments in two major oil joint ventures in the Orinoco Belt; it assisted the company with contractual issues, foreign currency controls and investment protection. Recent matters saw the team advise deep-water drilling contractor Seadrill on its relations with a mixed stock company, as well as regarding the closure of one of its Venezuelan branches. Other clients include Weatherford and Rosneft.

Mendoza Palacios Acedo Borjas Páez Pumar & Cía’s team has extensive experience in the energy and natural resources sphere, stemming from the firm’s years-long involvement in Venezuela’s oil sector. Recent work saw the team assist Emerson Venezuela with legal matters including the negotiation and execution of services and contracts. Esteban Palacios is very knowledgeable in the electricity sector. Carlos Eduardo Acedo Sucre and associate Carlos Páez Pumar handle an impressive energy and natural resources caseload.

Torres, Plaz & Araujo has a strong track record when it comes to advising petrochemical companies, as well as on- and offshore oil and gas contractors. The energy department leads at the firm, Valentina Cabrera Medina and Juan Carlos Garantón-Blanco, both have additional expertise in the tax area, enabling them to advise their clients on corporate tax planning and structuring aspects of energy investments. Recent highlights include assisting Wärtsilä with negotiations and contractual matters in regard to three new power plant projects. Another client, Odebrecht, required a broad spectrum of legal capabilities, the construction company requiring counsel on corporate, contractual, public law and structuring matters.

Initially founded in 1920 as a mining and petroleum boutique firm, Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz’s core focus remains energy and natural resources matters. It advises on profit-sharing and operating agreements, particularly in the oil sector, but the team is also well versed in natural gas and mining matters. Eduardo Travieso Uribe and Simón Guevara Camacho are the energy specialists at the firm.

Araquereyna has established a busy energy and natural resources practice and the recent incorporation of specialist Roberto Strauss has only served to strengthen the team, enabling it to provide legal advice to investors regarding project finance. The team regularly assists oil and gas companies with negotiations; Pedro Planchart and Pedro Sosa are the names to note.

Rodríguez & Mendoza has a strong focus on oil and gas work, handling structuring and negotiations regarding the financing of oil projects as well as the provision of more general advice. The team has particular expertise regarding extra-heavy oil exploitation, and oil and gas pipelines; and also represents sector clients in litigation. Key contact Reinaldo Hellmund has strong market knowledge.

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