The Migration of Service Contracts to E&P Contracts: The Experience in Mexico

Recorded On: 08/26/2021

Organized by the Latin America and Caribbean Chapter

This Spanish-language event was recorded live in Quito, Ecuador.

César Fernández, International Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright
Rafael Valdivieso, Partner, Robalino
Moderator: Marisela Salinas, Local Counsel Repsol Ecuador SA

This recording features speakers discussing the experience of the migration of service contracts held by Mexico's NOC for the potential migration of service contracts in Ecuador. The challenges and issues of implementing this process in Ecuador are also discussed. 


César Fernández

International Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright

César Fernándezan accomplished energy and projects lawyer, joined Norton Rose Fulbright's Mexico City office in 2019. He previously worked for Pemex and served as legal vice president for projects and businesses for the state-owned oil company.

At Pemex, Fernández oversaw a team that provided legal guidance for implementing the comprehensive energy reforms – passed in Mexico in 2014 – that radically transformed the country's hydrocarbon and electricity industries and opened up private investment opportunities.

Fernández drafted and negotiated the first area of mutual interest (AMI), joint study and bidding (JSBA), and joint operating (JOA) agreements related to the first Pemex alliances in deepwater, shallow water and onshore in history, with international, independent and national oil companies in order to participate in CNH bidding Rounds.

He structured the legal bidding framework for Pemex farmouts and led the drafting of their corresponding joint operating agreements. Fernandez also drafted and negotiated the first preliminary unit agreement (PUA) in Mexico and new integrated services contracts (CSIEE). Additionally, he led the migration of four blocks in connection with contratos de obra publica financiada (COPF) and contratos integrales para exploración y extracción (CIEP) into E&P contracts.

Within midstream and downstream, Fernández structured from a legal and regulatory perspective the open seasons for Pemex Logística pipelines and terminals; participated in the first projects for refinery auxiliary services for the hydrogen supply for Pemex Transformación Industrial and led the negotiations for alliances with Pemex for the National Refinery System.

Fernández was part of the Pemex negotiating teams for NAFTA renegotiation, the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union and negotiations of the model of transboundary unit agreement with the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Fernández, is a former member of the Legal Task Force for the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI).

Before joining Pemex, Fernández, who possesses a deep understanding of the legal intricacies of conducting business throughout the Latin America region, served as head of legal and compliance officer at Petrofac in Mexico. Prior to that, he worked for another major law firm in Mexico where he advised clients on energy matters, corporate transactions, mining, telecommunications and aviation concerns. 

Rafael Valdivieso

Partner, Robalino

Rafael Valdivieso is a partner and member of the Energy and Administrative Law practices of Robalino. He actively participates in structuring oil and mining projects, including contractual processes, corporate affairs, M&A, and Project financing. He advises local and international companies in Ecuador and in the region. Rafael advises local and international companies on drafting and negotiating contracts, corporate structuring, project financing, operational agreements, and local and cross-border M&A in the Oil & Gas and Mining industries.

He works with Robalino’s main Oil & Gas and Mining clients operating in Ecuador. Rafael has advised companies in structuring and implementing projects in Ecuador, Cuba, Venezuela, Guatemala, Argentina and Mexico.

He has been recognized by renowned legal magazines in Energy and Natural Resources for several consecutive years. He is an expert in Administrative Law and has considerable experience in regulatory matters regarding telecommunications.

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