Translate:
Benjamín Torres-Barrón

Benjamín Torres-Barrón

Partner
Baker & McKenzie Abogados, S.C.

Biography

Benjamín leads Baker McKenzie's Energy, Mining & Infrastructure Practice Group in Mexico and is part of the EMI Global Steering Committee in the Firm . He is recognized as "Highly Regarded Lawyer" by IFLR, and is also listed as a recommended lawyer by Who’s Who Legal for oil, gas, and project finance in Mexico. He is recognized as one of the country's leading lawyers in the energy and natural resources area (Band 1) by both Legal 500 and Chambers Latin America. For several years, he has been acknowledged by the magazine Petróleo & Energía as one of the top 100 leaders in Mexico's energy industry and he currently serves in its editorial board.

Benjamin is the president of the Energy Committee in AmCham Mexico. In addition, he has lectured for the energy and sustainability law master's degree program at Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León and taught energy law classes at Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez and business law at ITESM Campus Ciudad Juarez. He has served at the Energy Editorial Boards of Reforma and Norte newspapers, and is a member of Potentia (a private oil and energy business club). He is also a member of the advisory board of GRI, chair of the Mexican Chapter of ISME (International Society for Mexican Energy) and a member of Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN).

Practice Focus

Benjamin handles all legal matters related to the development and construction of real estate, mining, infrastructure, and major projects. His career includes advising clients on the development and construction of projects related to oil, natural gas, water, waste, railroad, ports, airports, highways, LPG, LNG, biofuels, energy efficiency, electricity, and public bids called by Pemex, CFE, and other Mexican governmental entities.

He has represented clients before the regulatory authorities and agencies in matters regarding energy projects; advised clients on maritime and navigation matters, due diligence, development, drafting and negotiation of contracts and financing. He also has advised clients regarding regulatory issues in connection with the sale, acquisition, leasing, subleasing, rights of way, construction, maritime transportation, trusts, insurance, utilities, environmental and ejido matters in connection with energy, hospitality (tourism), residential, mining, and industrial projects. His professional expertise also includes project financing, corporate law, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advised as lead Mexican counsel to DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG on the acquisition of six exploration and appraisal blocks held by Sierra Oil & Gas Holdings, LP, and its corresponding subsidiaries in Mexico covering approximately 9,400 square kilometers in the core part of Mexico’s Sureste basin, including a 40% interest in Block 7, which contains a significant part of Zama, one of the world’s largest shallow water discoveries in the past 20 years. This transaction is considered the largest upstream M&A transaction in Mexico since the liberalization of its petroleum sector in 2013 and it was awarded by AIPN as Deal of the Year during the International Petroleum Summit in 2019.
  • Advised ENGIE Mexico in the acquisition, construction, development and financing of several wind and solar photovoltaic power projects in different locations in Mexico, and the prequalification process before CENACE under the long-term auctions SLP-1/2016, SLP -1/2017 and SLP-1/2018.
  • Advised PEMEX regarding an arbitration award issued by the ICC International Arbitration Court to solve the dispute of a contract entered into by Pemex Refinación and Conproca for the reconfiguration and modernization of a refinery in Mexico.
  • Represented Shell in the formation of a joint venture with Comercial Importadora S.A. de C.V. and purchase of 50% of its shares with respect of its business in Mexico for the manufacture, import, supply, distribution and sale of lubricants, including the license of Quaker State brand in Mexico.
  • Advised Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in connection with its entry in the Mexican oil and gas upstream sector, as well as its participation in the Round 1 public tenders called by the Mexican National Hydrocarbons Commission for the award of hydrocarbons exploration and production contracts, including the preparation of the pre-qualification documents and requirements.
  • Advised PTTEP MEP in connection with its participation in the Round 2.4 public tender called by the Mexican National Hydrocarbons Commission for the award of hydrocarbons exploration and production contracts, including the pre-qualification and requirements for the execution of the License Agreements for Blocks 12 and 29 and the corresponding JOAs with its consortium partners.
  • Advised Valero Services Inc. in connection with the preparation and negotiation of terms and conditions to contract firm storage capacity of liquid petroleum products in three new built storage terminals to be located in Veracruz, Puebla and Mexico.
  • Advised First Energy Bank/MENAdrill Investment Company in connection with the lease of various maritime oil rigs to PEMEX Exploración y Producción.
  • Represented INPEX Corporation in the Round 1 and TRION Farmouts public tenders called by the Mexican National Hydrocarbons Commission for the award of hydrocarbons exploration and production contracts, including the preparation of the pre-qualification documents and requirements.
  • Advised ATCO Group in connection with its entry in the Mexican energy market, as well as with the preparation of the bid proposal submitted before CFE for the award of a natural gas transportation service agreement, including the development, construction, operation and maintenance of a pipeline, as well as the procurement of an open access natural gas transportation permit from the CRE, interconnection agreements with PEMEX and filings before the Mexican Antitrust Commission.
  • Advised Gas del Litoral (a joint venture between Total and Shell) for (i) the purchase of LNG and (ii) sale of natural gas to CFE supplied from a LNG regasification plant located in Altamira, Mexico, (iii) the purchase and swap of natural gas with CFE and (iv) regulatory advice before the National Center for the Control of Natural Gas (CENAGAS) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) for the transfer of capacity rights in the Mexican pipeline transportation system.
  • Advised to Iberoamericana de Hidrocarburos, S.A. de C.V. (a company of Grupo Cobra) in connection with review, negotiation and execution of a (i) Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) to be entered with PEMEX; and an (ii) Exploration and Production Contract (E&P Contract) to be entered with the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH).  Advised and assisted GDF Suez and Mitsubishi Corporation in connection with the preparation of the bid proposal submitted before CFE for the development, construction, operation and maintenance of a power plant with capacity of 294 MW.
  • Advised Alamos Gold in connection with the mining operations of its subsidiary Minas de Oro Nacional in Mexico.
  • Advised Goldcorp Inc. in conducting legal due diligence regarding the mining operations of its subsidiary Minera Peñasquito in Mexico.
  • Advised the National Commission for Energy Efficiency in preparing a legal instrument regulating the mechanical and/or environmental standards for used vehicles imported into Mexico.
  • Advised Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) in preparing a model of ESCO performance contract applicable to facilities of the Federal Public Administration.
  • Advised as lead counsel to many US companies over the regulatory overview of the oil refined fuels market in Mexico and process to secure permits for importation, storage, distribution, and trading of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and ethanol in Mexico, including advice in quality specifications.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) 
  • Editorial board for the Petróleo & Energia Magazine
  • Vice president of the Energy Committee of the American Chamber in Mexico (Chair)
  • Fundación Paso del Norte para la Salud y Bienestar (Honorary Board Member)

Admissions

  • Mexico (1998)

Education

  • Universidad Corporativa Unión Fenosa (Diploma Power Distribution and Generation Business) (2003)
  • Club Superior de la Energía (Business Course Energy) (2003)
  • Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M.) (2001)
  • Tecnológico de Monterrey (M.C.L.) (1998)

Languages

  • English
  • Spanish

Previous Offices

  • Juarez

Publications

Author, "Details of the Energy Reform in Mexico," Forbes, October 2014

Author, "Mexico’s Energy Reform Explained," Latin Business Chronicle, September 2014

Author, "Energy Reform in Mexico: A necessary change," Petróleo & Energía, February-March 2014

Author, "Natural gas: Prospective and prices," Energía a Debate, September-October 2013

Author, "Efficient cogeneration in Mexico, a new horizon of opportunities," Petróleo & Energía, February-March 2013