The Spanish gas market has experienced significant changes in recent years with the approval of the European Directives 98/30/EC and 2003/55/EC, leading up to the complete liberalization of the sector. Directive 2009/73/EC, amending the previous one and in the process of being incorporated into Spanish law, pretends to promote competition throughout the industrial gas chain, restricting the dominant presence of one single company in the various stages of the process.

The transformation of the sector, already well advanced, is being carried out rapidly, bearing in mind its complexity. The successive reforms of Law 34/1998, of October 7, on the Hydrocarbon Sector have succeeded, to date, in short timeframes, in incorporating Community provisions into internal laws, updating Spanish regulations for the purpose of achieving generalization in the use of energy resources that are still underutilized in Spain. This has a great potential for development and an essentially stable regulatory framework.

The challenges presented by the present panorama of natural gas are those characteristic of a strategic sector subject to a protracted regulation in constant evolution to which it is necessary to adapt. The sector also presents characteristics which render indispensable an integrated study of its multiple facets.

In general, any legal advice must be especially sensitive due to the significance that transactions occurring in this sector tend to acquire. In many cases, advice must include both an analysis of the correct insertions and interpretations of Community rules into national law, as well as the preparation of agreements with companies from third countries for the transport of gas, whether through fixed facilities or through gas transport vessels.

In this context, advice from a firm such as Gómez-Acebo & Pombo marks the difference, since our experience provides the security that any client requires for the successful implementation of the client’s projects. The firm offers a varied range of services as well as extensive experience in the following areas:

  • Advice on regulatory matters and national and international contracts for the design, development, operation and management of facilities such as regasification plants, storage facilities, distribution lines and gas pipelines.
  • Advice on a full range of transactions on the securities market for the acquisition or sale of portfolios of sector companies, corporate transactions such as mergers, acquisitions and buy/sell transactions, as well as on antitrust/competition aspects.
  • Financing transactions and variants thereof, coming from both private entities as well as national, Community and international institutional funds.
  • Advice on environmental, urban planning and industrial matters.