Marval O’Farrell & Mairal has expanded its oil and gas practice with the hire of Arturo Pera.

Pera joins the firm as of counsel after serving as legal director of Total for 18 years and working in the oil and gas sectors for more than 40 years. His hire will strengthen the firm’s robust energy and natural resources practice which includes seven partners and 20 associates.

Pera’s hire comes in the wake of a wave of financial reforms passed by President Marco Macri. More recently, Macri’s negotiations with Argentina’s creditors allowed the country to return to the global capital markets in April 2016. “We expect the expansion of business, not only oil and gas, but in business in general,” Pera said. “We are very confident that we are at a new stage in the global economic situation in Argentina, and I think and I hope that this will bring a lot of work for law firms.”

Pera said he believes there is potential in the oil and gas industries. “Argentina has one of the biggest shale oil and gas resources in the world, so the possibility of developing oil and gas fields is very interesting and promising. On the other hand, Argentina is also a conventional oil and gas nation, so we hope we will stay put in this direction, despite the fact that oil and gas prices went down,” he said.