Mexico may compete with Brazil for investment in energy sector

Baker Botts LLP

The outlook and opportunities facing existing and potential investors in Brazil’s energy and infrastructure sectors – including discussions about exploration and production and oil and gas mergers and acquisitions activity in the country – were the focus March 25 of a seminar in Houston, Texas, hosted by the global energy law firm Baker Botts and the Brazilian-based law firm, Demarest Advogados.

In addition to panel discussions on a series of Brazil-specific energy topics, a review of the country’s energy matrix, power sector and investment perspectives was delivered by Anderson da Silva Jucá, the Latin America Visiting Energy Fellow at the Center for Energy Studies at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

In comments for a question-and-answer feature that complemented the seminar, John White, co-chair of the Latin America practice at Baker Botts, noted that “The IMF five-year forecast for Latin America predicts moderate to strong growth (over 4% by GDP) – weighted toward Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, whereas energy demand is forecasted to grow at just over 2% for the same period. The combined impact of the above has been the development of largely independent energy policies and energy infrastructure assets. Indeed, in the context of the recent Mexican energy reforms, it is possible, if not likely, that Mexico will compete with Brazil for investment in the energy sector.”

The seminar included lecturers from both law firms and from global companies, leaders in the oil, gas and infrastructure sectors. Subjects involving investment opportunities for 2014, joint ventures with local companies and the M&A scenario in these sectors will be discussed with potential investors and multinational companies operating in Brazil.

“The resumption of investments in the oil and gas sectors after last year's bidding rounds, the recent movements with Petrobrás's disinvestments and OGX's judicial reorganization created a perspective of new deals for the sector, together with a far-reaching government program on infrastructure concessions, including ports, highways, railways and energy, among others, generated great expectations for investors willing to understand our market and seeking legal certainty for their investments,” said João Almeida, a partner at Demarest Advogados.




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