Since the 1920s, when oil production began, and during the time when Venezuela became one of the largest oil exporting countries, until now when it is the country with the largest proven oil reserves in the world, we have been very active in the energy area.
Our attorneys assisted the foreign oil companies in the 1920s, when the exploration, drilling and commercialization of oil began. We then assisted the foreign oil companies, as well as the Venezuelan government and state-owned companies, in negotiations and transactions related to oil, including the process of nationalization that took place in the 1970s.
After the nationalization of the oil industry, we continued to assist our clients in their business in Venezuela, and, with their consent, we started to provide advice to two of the three original Venezuelan operating companies, and then to PDVSA, the state-owned holding company, from 1976 until 2003. For several years, until Amoco was merged into British Petroleum, we provided legal services to Amoco Venezuela.
We acted as counsel for the syndicated lenders in the project financing deals of Hamaca and Petrozuata, with regard to the extra heavy oil in the Orinoco Belt, in order to operate the joint ventures between foreign oil companies and PDVSA. We continued to advise them during their operations and, later, when the Venezuelan government expropriated the international oil companies’ participation. We continue to work in the financing of projects in the oil sector, from the perspective of the financial institutions.
We acted as counsel to Electricidad de Caracas, the main provider of electrical services in the greater Caracas area and a subsidiary of AES, before its nationalization, and we continue to represent AES in local matters.
We acted as counsel to the syndicated bank lenders that lent money to Sidor, the major steel producer in Venezuela and a state-owned company. We advised the banks during the restructuring of the debt, which required complex analysis of Sidor´s particularities, including the energy aspects, and with regard to its later nationalization.
We continue to advice companies in the energy sector that provide services to energy related, state-owned corporations.
Our lawyers are renowned authors of legal articles on energy and natural resources.