Betyna Almeida-Covarrubias is counsel in Mayer Brown’s Mexico City office and is a member of the global Energy group and the Banking & Finance practice. Betyna is focused on advising global oil & gas and energy companies on their Mexican and Latin American operations, handling contract drafting, analysis and negotiation, and has extensive experience with joint venture and joint operating agreements, consortium contracts, and acquisition and divestiture of oil and gas properties. Betyna also has considerable experience in corporate law and international mediation and arbitration. Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Betyna was an associate with international law firms in Rio de Janeiro and Houston before joining Lewis Energy Group. As their international counsel, she advised the company’s Mexico and Colombia operations and provided legal advice to the CEO, country managers and local staff. Betyna drafted and negotiated joint venture and joint operating agreements, concession agreements, acquisitions and divestitures of oil and gas interests, drilling agreements, EPC agreements, AMI agreements, and farm-ins and farm-outs for clients in the US, Latin America and West Africa. She also handled bidding processes, international corporate filings and licenses, litigation and outside counsel oversight and government contracts and regulations. Betyna is licensed to practice law in Mexico, New York and Brazil.
- Oversaw corporate restructuring of a multinational company in the chemical sector with affiliates in five different countries.
- Advised a Mexican lending company in its issuance of securities in the Mexican stock exchange.
- Advised a Polish company in its hospitality and infrastructure project in Northeastern Brazil.
- Negotiated multimillion dollar credit facilities with foreign and domestic banks on behalf of banks and corporations.
- Managed legal aspects of contracts and subcontracts to Lewis Energy Group’s US$340 million multiple services contract with Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and concession contracts with Colombia’s National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH).
- Advised and guided Lewis Energy through its qualification to participate in Colombia’s National Petroleum Agency Exploration 2008, 2009 and 2012 oil and gas bidding rounds. The company was ultimately successful and awarded four exploration and production blocks.
- As in-house counsel, advised Lewis Energy in the sale to a Spanish company of its joint interest in an exploration and production block in Central Colombia with estimated reserves of 40 million barrels.
- Participated in the structuring and negotiation of a US$5 billion LNG project in West Africa on behalf of an African state-owned company. In charge of revising and negotiating gas supply, transportation, EPC and pipeline operation agreements and other key transaction documents with major oil companies.
- Participated in the research and draft of bio-fuel legislation for a West African country.
- Advised Petrobras International in the US$360 million acquisition of a refinery. Participated in due diligence and negotiation processes on behalf of buyer.
- Advised Petrobras in a natural gas services bid conducted by Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) in northern Mexico, the first public bid of its kind in decades. The bid was successfully awarded to the client, resulting in a services contract in the amount of US$260 million.
- Lead associate in the negotiation of a US$25 million joint venture between an oil field service provider and two local companies with the purpose of building and operating a well screen plant in Angola. Responsible for drafting the joint venture, technology and trademark licenses, supply and distribution agreements and of documents related to the incorporation of Angolan entities.
- Advised Brazilian oil company in international arbitration procedures regarding default by its counterpart of a Joint Operating Agreement for an exploration area in offshore Brazil. Collaborated in achieving favorable award in the amount of US$8 million for the firm’s client. Featured in Counsel to Counsel magazine, July 2006.
- Served as expert legal witness before the US Bankruptcy Court – Northern District of Texas for Brazil’s second largest insurance company, against a non-performing US software company. Participated in mediation procedures, which resulted in a US$3 million favorable settlement for the firm’s client.
- Managed the opening of an oil company representative office in China. Key liaison between client and Chinese counsel.
- Negotiated on behalf of a Texas-based independent oil company regarding environmental and contractual issues concerning a concession agreement for exploration and production of oil and natural gas executed with the Brazilian National Petroleum Agency for areas in offshore Brazil.
- New York