Elisabeth Eljuri’s three decades of experience as a practicing lawyer, and more recently as an oil executive, includes both significant international disputes and transactional experience. Selected examples of major deals she has worked on are listed below.
From 2016-2019, Ms. Eljuri was the Vice President, Chief Negotiator and Chief Legal Counsel of Sierra Oil and Gas, a private equity-backed oil upstream company created to capture opportunities in the Mexican energy market. The company successfully secured six exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico from the Mexican government, and, for each of those blocks, Ms. Eljuri led the negotiations with the company’s joint venture partners. She continued in this role up until the successful exit in 2019, where she was co-responsible for the negotiation and execution of the Share Purchase Agreement between a large group of sellers and the European purchaser group. Prior to joining Sierra, she acted for the company as outside counsel in the initial set up and in securing two tranches of funding of $525 million each from three private equity funds.
Before joining Sierra Oil & Gas, from 1998 to 2015, Ms. Eljuri was a senior partner and Head of Latin America for Norton Rose Fulbright, reporting to the Firm’s global CEO. She joined the firm (Macleod Dixon at the time) as an equity partner in 1998 when she co-founded the Caracas office, became Managing Partner and held several positions in the firm, including member of the Executive Committee of Canada and Latin America and member of its Compensation Committee.
During her time at the firm, in addition to her international disputes work, Ms. Eljuri had a prominent transactional practice, leading major projects and deals in multiple countries in Latin America.
- Represented a significant number of oil producers investing in Venezuela during the oil opening process in the 1990s. Her role included the whole spectrum of advice from the initial stages of bid rounds to executing upstream government contracts, advising producers during the life of the projects, sitting on the project’s Board of Directors, up until the nationalization of those projects in the mid-2000s and the ensuing disputes and/or contract renegotiations with the Venezuelan government.
- Represented the Mexican national oil company, Pemex, from 2001 to 2003 in the design of its Multiple Services Contracts, the first opportunity for private investors to participate in upstream gas projects in Mexico since the industry’s nationalization in 1938.
- Represented about a dozen oil producers investing in Mexico during the Energy Reform process that began in 2013. This work included all bid related work, negotiations related to joint study and bidding agreements and joint operating agreements, as well as strategic advice related to their incursion in the Mexican energy market.
- Advised a major international oil company in its bid for an offshore gas exploration project and on the legal regime for cross-border unitization agreements in Latin America.
- Represented the project construction company that built and operated one of the world’s largest gas compression plants, located in Venezuela, including advice to secure project financing.
- Represented a North American consortium in the negotiation of an asset purchase agreement for the acquisition of a large oil terminal that handled one third of Venezuela’s crude production.
- Represented a North American oil major in its upstream oil venture into Guyana.
- Represented a Latin American national oil company in its negotiation of a major offshore drilling contract.
- Represented a US independent oil and gas company in the acquisition of certain assets in three Latin American countries.
- Represented numerous clients in major engineering, procurement and construction contracts to be entered into with Latin American government entities.
- Provided legal advice to extra heavy oil associations, including regulatory oil and gas matters and contracts with third parties in Venezuela.
- Represented several international companies in bidding and then holding upstream gas licenses granted by the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Venezuela for major gas projects.
- Negotiated on behalf of a major international company a long-term sulphur purchase agreement from an extra heavy oil producer in Venezuela (delivery through a Solids Handling Terminal).
- Represented a German coal company in the acquisition of the largest coal mine in South America.
- Negotiated and drafted a wide range of oil service contracts, from major drilling contracts to seismic interpretation.
- Advised existing gas licensees (offshore and onshore) on the regulatory framework applicable to gas projects in Venezuela.
- Represented many Fortune 500 and similar companies outside of the energy business in significant M&A and corporate transactions in Venezuela.