Rogelio López-Velarde’s practice focuses on the energy and infrastructure industries. With respect to energy, he covers the full spectrum of the industry with the highest level of expertise, from oil and gas upstream, midstream and downstream to the power industry and is considered the top energy lawyer in the Mexican market.
As to the energy and infrastructure industries, his practice includes regulatory matters, corporate, mergers and acquisitions, project finance, antitrust, anti-bribery and real estate.
Rogelio held various positions at Pemex from 1988 to 1993, including acting as in-house counsel in Houston and New York, as well as heading the International Legal Department of Pemex.
His unparalleled experience in the Mexican energy sector has allowed him to participate, for over 20 years, in a considerable number and spectrum of the relevant and major energy projects developed in Mexico in such period. His experience in the sector includes the following:
Oil and Gas – Upstream
- Have assisted numerous oilfield service companies in their contracts with Pemex-Exploracion y Producción, including for offshore drilling rigs, onshore integrated services, seismic, completion services, drillships, among many others. Representation has included assistance in different stages of the projects, from bid participation and structuring, contract risk assessment, contract execution and project performance issues, labor, regulatory issues, termination disputes, payment disputes, administrative litigation and arbitration.
- Have provided over the year instrumental advice to various companies which led to evolution of Pemex model contracts in matters such as liability exposure, guarantees, performance delivery obligations, among others.
- Assisted numerous companies in negotiation of joint bidding agreements and thereafter joint venture agreements for the successful execution of projects on a post-bid stage.
- Have assisted different operators in the different bids of the Round 1 called by the National Hydrocarbons Commission (“CNH”) in the process of pre-qualification as bidders and in regulatory, contractual and risk assessment issues concerning the onshore and offshore blocks being awarded for Exploration and Production Production Sharing Contracts and Licenses.
- Currently assisting an international operator in its process of migration of its existing Pemex incentive-based contract to a Production Sharing Agreement as part of the transition under the energy reform.
Midstream and Downstream
- Since the liberalization of the natural gas sector in 1995, Mr. Lopez-Velarde has participated in the development and financing of a major portion of the most relevant natural gas transportation pipelines built by the private sector, including, among several others: (a) the San Fernando pipeline developed by Gasoductos de Chihuahua (a joint venture then owned by Pemex-Gas y Petroquimica Basica (“PGPB”) and El Paso Energy; (b) Palmillas-Toluca pipeline, in which he assisted since the pioneering process of obtainment of the first open-access pipeline permit for a private party and the acquisition of the rights of way for the project, (c) Los Ramones trunkline, currently being built.
- Assisted natural gas local distribution companies (LDCs) in different regulatory matters (including bid processes for the award of the distribution permit, rate cases before the Energy Regulatory Commission, force majeure cases concerning lack of mandatory customer coverage, financial guarantee procedures, among others) and transactional matters, including M&A transactions (dealing both with the acquisition/divestiture and with the regulatory matters ensuing therefrom).
- Represented one of the largest energy investment funds in the U.S. in the acquisition of a relevant participation in a successful natural gas and liquids pipelines conglomerate in Mexico.
- Assisted a natural gas and power company in Mexico in respect of their €73 billion horizontal merger with another European conglomerate. Both companies maintained large operations in the Mexican gas and power industries.
- Represented the developer of the 450 MMCFD LNG regasification terminal in Altamira, including the negotiation of real estate rights, corporate structure, regulatory aspects, antitrust, and the obtainment of some of the most important government permits.
- Successfully represented two Japanese conglomerates in the US$1.25 billion acquisition and re-financing of a portfolio of Mexican companies holding five gas-fired combined cycle power plants with an aggregated power generation capacity of 2,233 MW, and a 54km open-access natural gas transportation pipeline with a maximum capacity of up to 330,000 MMBtu/d; all these projects located in the Northeast part of Mexico.
- Successfully represented the consortium developing the Valladolid III IPP bid for the construction and operation of a 525MW gas-fired, combined cycle power plant. Representation from the outset as Mexican project counsel from the successful submission and award of the tender, the filing and obtainment of all governmental permits and consents, negotiating and closing all project documents including the negotiation and closing of the US$195 Million JBIC project financingand the successful commissioning and COD achievement of the plant.
- Assisted in the pioneering project for the construction, development and finance of a 245MW gas-fired power plant in Monterrey, including the negotiation and execution of an Interconnection Agreement, a Wheeling Services Agreement, a Back-up Power Supply Agreement, a Facilities Assignment Agreement and a Power Surpluses Sale Agreement with CFE, having offtakers with more than 30 facilities countrywide. Thereafter assisted in the sale of the project to a third party in the context of a developer bankruptcy process.
- Ranked as a “Star Individual” for energy by Chambers Latin America 2015, which has ranked him in the top tier since its first edition
- Has consistently been considered for over 15 years by ranking services including Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Energy Lawyers as a leader in its field in Mexico, and recognized by such publication as one of the top energy lawyers in the world.
- Honored with the “Most Distinguished Attorney Award” of Pemex for the period 1990-1991
- Appointed as a member of the Energy Council of the Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission
- Featured by Who’s Who Legal Project Finance 2015
- Active speaker on numerous occasions, and has extensively published articles on international law in Mexico, U.S., Canada, Europe and South America. He was the Mexican representative of the Editorial Board of the Oil & Gas Law and Taxation Review, the Oil & Gas Committee of the International Bar Association, and the Editorial Board of the Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law of the International Bar Association
Activities and Affiliations
- Former Chairman of the Energy Committee of the Mexican Bar Association
- Former President for the Latin America Chapter of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN)
- Former Chairman of the International Practice Committee of the S. Institute for Energy Law, 2010 – 2012
- Member, Mexican Bar Association
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Mexican Academy of Private International Law