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Legal Pulse

Legal Events

  • Hydrocarbons are currently at the forefront of many practitioners’ minds in Latin America. Late in 2013, Mexico opened up its oil and gas sector to private investment for the first time in three generations, with historic energy reforms. Brazil had a mixed year with the eleventh bid round last May being hailed a success, but the Libra auction in October attracting just one bidder and significant popular opposition. Colombia, on the other hand, continued to be the fastest-growing oil production country in the region, launching its biennial 2014 bid round in February. Amid the positive news in Mexico, there are concerns over whether its recent reforms go far enough to attract foreign investment: will the country get the secondary legislation and the structure of oil and gas contracts right? What are the latest opportunities and setbacks of investing in the region more broadly, particularly as regards farm-ins and farm-outs, and investing in assets formerly owned by national oil companies like Pemex? In Brazil, the onshore gas sector struggled to attract interest in the twelfth bid round in November, which was dominated by Petrobras and a few small independents. This exacerbated already deep concerns over the country’s tough local content laws, delays in environmental licensing and lack of gas transport. Can Brazil’s gas sector learn anything from neighbouring countries that have invested in LNG export projects? How has Latin America dealt with the impact of a plethora of US gas exports since the North American shale boom? Other key issues for practitioners include the prospects for oil and gas services suppliers investing in Latin America, especially those who now face a complex contractual matrix in Brazil that includes both production-sharing and concession agreements. There is also, of course, the question of how investors in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico will fund all of the necessary development, while balancing risk. These issues and more will all be discussed at Latin Lawyer’s Fifth Oil & Gas Conference, which will take an in-depth regional focus on regulation, M&A opportunities and financing in the sector. Chaired by Brian Bradshaw of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, and Paulo Valois of LO Baptista, Schmidt, Valois, Miranda, Ferreira & Agel, the conference will bring together leading in-house counsel and private practice lawyers from across Latin America and the US. Join us to take part in the debate. For further information or sponsorship enquiries, please contact LLevents@LatinLawyer.com.Delegates who wish to stay at the JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro can book using a discounted rate. To book a room, please click on the following link. Book your group rate: Latin Lawyer >>