Working Papers

“Regulation Changes and Auction Performance: The Case of Oil Leases in Brazil” (Job Market Paper), 2021, Download

This paper analyzes the effects of changes in fiscal and contractual regimes on the behavior of oil firms in Brazil. Contracts and taxes affect the timing in which firms receive their cash flow and influencing the moment they decide to invest and how much oil to extract. My model uses information from auction results, production and investment to identify firms' operational and investment costs, and later simulate bidding strategies, investment, project execution and government revenues. Results show that government revenues are on average 9.8% under a multi-attribute auction with concession contracts, compared to production sharing contracts, but these results are contingent on the cost recovery assumptions and the level of competition in the auction.

“Balancing Rent Extraction and Project Execution: The Case of Auctions for Oil Leases in Mexico”, 2021 Download

This paper studies oil lease auctions where the winner is chosen by a formula combining royalties and exploratory commitments. The model analyzes the effects of changing the weights in the allocation formula on bidding strategies, project execution and government revenues, using the case of onshore marginal fields in Mexico. Higher weights on the royalty component induce more adverse selection, and together with uncertainty regarding exploration costs, lead to a low execution of projects. My model allows identifying operational and exploration costs from variations in the bid components, to recover their joint distribution. Results show that rules with less extreme weights across bid dimensions and placing a cap on the royalty component of the bid increases project execution and overall government’s revenues by 36%, as well as firms’ profits.

“The future of PDVSA: Challenges for the reconstruction of the oil sector in Venezuela”. Joint with F. Monaldi and J. La Rosa.

This paper examines the short and long run challenges for the operation of a National Oil Company (NOC) in Venezuela. The legal constraints related to economic sanctions, together with court processes opened, and the dire financial and operational situation imply that the company has limited scope to carry upstream activities. In addition, long-run challenges are related to the reduced demand prospects for hydrocarbons, which implies a strategic shift in the type of products and activities the company would carry as an operator, should a NOC remain in the country.


“The collapse of the Venezuelan oil industry: The role of above-ground risks limiting foreign investment”, Resources Policy (Forthcoming). Joint with F. Monaldi and J. La Rosa.

“A Cost-benefit Analysis of the Jones Act: Petroleum Product Tankers”, Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, 55, 65-84, (2021). Joint with K. Medlock, A. Mikulska and T. Temzelides.

“Petroleum Challenges for Latin America and Africa in Light of the Asian Expansion”, in: Reconfiguration of the Global South: Africa and Latin America and the 'Asian Century', (2017). E. Woertz (Ed.). Routledge. Joint with D. Guerrero.

“Diversification in Latin American oil exporters: Was no intervention a better policy option?”, in: Economic Diversification Policies in Natural Resource Rich Economies (2016). S. Mahroum and Y. Al-Saleh (Eds.). Routledge. Joint with O. Manzano.

“Desafíos petroleros para América Latina y África ante la expansión asiática”. Revista CIDOB d'Afers Internacionals, 114, 63-86. (2016). Joint with D. Guerrero.

Research in Progress

“Ensuring timely completion at renewable energy auctions: the case of Peru”.

“Cost Distortions and Financial Constraints: the case of PDVSA”, with K. Neill.

Other work

“Reforming Venezuela’s oil and gas sector: An analysis of competing fiscal, contractual and institutional regimes” (2021). Chatham House . With J. La Rosa.

“Venezuela and its Calamities: Add Covid-19 to the List” (2021). Baker Institute for Public Policy. Rice University. With J. La Rosa.

“Weathering Collapse: An Assessment of the Financial and Operational Situation of the Venezuelan Oil Industry” (2016). Center for International Development Harvard University 327. With F. Monaldi

"Venezuela and U.S. Sanctions: Some Considerations" International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) Energy Forum. 3rd Quarter, 2018. ISSN 1944 - 3188

Lineamientos de política para el sector hidrocarburos”. In “Planificacion para la Conservación de la Biodiversidad en la Faja Petrolífera del Orinoco”. October 2016.

Elementos para pensar reformas de la economía venezolana. La política petrolera en Venezuela: Análisis, tendencias y propuestas”. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. February 2016

¿Puede el endeudamiento del gobierno afectar la economía venezolana?” (with Armando Romero). Debates IESA. Volumen XXI, Numero 1, Enero - Marzo 2016. Legal Deposit pp 95-0009. ISSN 1316 - 1296

El petróleo y Venezuela: algunas cifras relevantes” (with Diego Guerrero). Debates IESA. Volumen XX, Numero 4, Octubre – Diciembre 2015. Legal Deposit pp 95-0009. ISSN 1316 - 1296

Los retos de conciliar el petróleo y la sostenibilidad ambiental”. Debates IESA. Volumen XX, Numero 2, Abril - Junio 2015. Legal Deposit pp 95-0009. ISSN 1316 - 1296

La industria petrolera venezolana y su contenido local” (with Jean Leidenz). Debates IESA. Volumen XIX, Numero 1, Julio - Septiembre 2014. Legal Deposit pp 95-0009. ISSN 1316 - 1296

PDVSA, PEMEX y Petrobras: la tensión entre política y gerencia” (with Jean Leidenz). Debates IESA. Volumen XIX, Numero 1, Enero-Marzo 2014. Legal Deposit pp 95-0009. ISSN 1316 – 1296