April 8, 2016 – The former secretary of hydrocarbons of Ecuador, Dr. Yvonne Fabara Arias, said now is the time for global oil companies to invest in the South American country’s oil and gas resources during a recent discussion at the University of Houston Law Center.
Fabara spoke on the topic “New International Petroleum Investments and the Assessment of Social and Environmental Issues in the Ecuadorian Amazon” last week as part of the Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Center’s Lecture Series for Spring 2016.
“We think we have a positive business environment for investors,” Fabara said. “We also have political stability and social stability. There are no major social issues in Ecuador today, and Ecuador has great general infrastructure and oil infrastructure.”
Fabara presented an overview of recent petroleum exploration agreements between
Ecuador’s government and Chinese petroleum companies for the development of projects in the Ecuadorian Amazon. She also discussed ways the Ecuadorian government deals with environmental and social issues for the exploitation of hydrocarbons, including relations among the Ecuadorian government, oil corporations, and indigenous people. Those relations could provide industry standards for countries such as Canada, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, where native groups are active in negotiations with government officials and transnational companies.
“Our students benefitted from the testimony of a key player of the Ecuadorian oil and gas industry, who recently negotiated and signed two petroleum contracts with the Chinese corporations SINOPEC and CNPC,” said visiting Assistant Professor Julian Cardenas Garcia. "The talk showed how dynamic the hydrocarbons sector is in Ecuador, and how an OPEC nation is dealing with the current concerns of the industry.”
Representatives from ConocoPhillips, Ecopetrol, Weatherford, Wood Mackenzie, and Worley Parsons participated in the discussion. Officials from the French and Ecuadorian consulates also attended.
Fabara is an international expert on oil and gas transactions, and has more than 25 years of experience in legal, corporate, and government roles. She was a member of the integrated project management team, for the Ecuadorian Heavy Crude Oil Pipeline, and also has been legal counsel for construction companies working in the petroleum sector. She served as advisor to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Non-Renewable Resources.
Fabara earned a J.D. from the Catholic University of Ecuador in Quito, Ecuador. She holds an MSc in Comparative Government from the London School of Economics and a Diploma in International Law from the Madrid Society of International Studies in Spain.