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Mexico´s Oil and Gas Workforce and the Energy Transition

Jose Arcos - WTS Energy
Regional Sales Manager


José Escobedo By José Escobedo | Senior Editorial Manager - Thu, 04/27/2023 - 16:03

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Q: What services does WTS Energy offer its clients?

A: The services we provide are specific and specialized. We mainly focus on the oil and gas industry and have analyzed the sector to create flexible and targeted solutions for our clients. Our objective in Mexico is to provide clients with tailored solutions to address their company's requirements. We focus on technical areas for Exploration and Production (E&P) drilling projects as well as construction/EPC and maritime projects, mainly with engineering, logistics, HSE and IT solutions. We deliver an integrated service that empowers our clients to maximize their workforce performance, increase business productivity and operate at lower costs. We achieve this through our qualified personnel and compliant services. In addition, we deliver services in a timely manner and our clients can attest to that

Q: What can you tell us about your talent pool?

A: We have the capability to provide companies with local talent or expat professionals based on our clients specific requirements. We have consultants from every corner of the world, including Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Through the implementation of our recruitment process, we ensure that the talent pool is active 24/7 and equipped with the technical competencies required for the development of many projects. By using our quick and compliant response service, companies benefit by selecting the right talent for their operations in a timely manner. We support local content development in our projects as well as the growth of local communities through knowledge development.  Eighty percent of our workforce is Mexican and 20% are expats.

Q: What are the main changes and challenges the energy transition has brought to the industry in regard to its workforce?

A: In the past few years, energy companies have been supporting the energy transition, expressing their commitments by reducing carbon emissions related to their activities. As a result of these actions, there is a strong global movement in various talent industry pools that are moving toward using clean energies. Nevertheless, many companies do not know what actions need to be taken for the expansion of this green energy transition. As a result, companies are faced with a strong challenge to create programs for interns, newcomers, retention plans, growth, etc. and continue attracting qualified consultants for their operations. However, international reports indicate that hydrocarbons will be used for at least another 30 years. This energy transition reminds me of when the Energy Reform kicked off in Mexico. It was challenging to find adequate talent with the right competencies and knowledge, especially in trainee certifications. The same thing could happen in Mexico when we finally decide to take that leap into producing clean energies.

Q: What is the role of the REPSE in providing services engineering, logistics, HSE and IT for the oil and energy sectors?

A: REPSE has helped us classify service companies by specialties. This concept is very important to our clients because they now have a clear idea with whom they should work according to their areas of expertise. I am very happy with the results the recent Labor Reform has obtained because the main objective was correct: to protect employees in regard to their professional services by ensuring that their employers comply with the related obligations and responsibilities. Since its implementation, WTS México has been fully compliant with all government regulations – for example, paying 100% of our contributions to our employees worldwide.

Q: From your experience, what are the challenges most companies face when recruiting and retaining talent and how does WTS help them?

A: The reality is that big companies that have thousands of employees, despite having big HR departments, are more focused on solving their daily operations and not taking care of their personnel by implementing programs, forums, and others. WTS provides the opportunities employees are looking for. Our task is to integrate them into a whole package and present them to our clients. We do this by analyzing the industry sector and creating flexible and specific solutions that contribute to our client´s professional growth and goals.

Q: What does your Specialized Recruitment service entail?

A: We coordinate and execute every step of the recruitment process. This includes candidate attraction and advertising, shortlisting, interview coordination and logistics through our Specialized Recruitment business unit. By making use of our active talent pool, we are able to provide candidates for E&P drilling projects, Construction and Maritime projects in engineering, logistics, HSE and IT. In addition, we have a recruitment hub that employs international consultants supporting our clients. We have global recruitment meetings all the time and we share opportunities that support many countries. Moreover, we exchange information about our progress and development in Mexico.

Q: Where does the future of the industry workforce lie and how does WTS Energy ensure it leads in the segment?

A: It is necessary that the oil and gas industry’s workforce understands that the market’s requirements are changing. Today more than ever, training programs are very important as well as up-to-date certifications. It is challenging to find Mexican employers that meet all requirements and capabilities to work with international companies. This is because in the past 15 to 20 years, the energy industry in Mexico was closed to private and international firms. Today, employees need to know more about the industry, receive training regarding energy certifications due to international requirements and start thinking outside the box. WTS Energy provides specialized training programs so that our clients comply with recent national and international standards.

Q: From your viewpoint, where is the oil and energy industry in Mexico heading in regard to the energy transition?

A: Today, we are witnessing how energy companies are eager to present their commitments and are willing to be part of this energy transition toward a decarbonized future.  At WTS Energy, one of our objectives is to help protect the environment during this energy transition. However, from my perspective, in Mexico, this needs to be an equilibrium transition, since energy companies will need to work hard to reduce the use of fossil fuels and transition to the use of green energies. Today, we need to focus on how and when this transition should take place.

Q: What are the company’s plans for 2023 and 2024?

A: Ever since I joined WTS Mexico in 2022, our vision has been clear and commercial and management perspectives have been aligned, that is to grow our local business and expand our services to the Americas, strengthen our Mexico team and learn from the great work our colleagues in the US are doing. Also, with our recent partner consolidation in Guyana, we have expanded our scope to support clients globally. Today, the energy industry knows that Guyana is the hotspot for this business and we are now locally based and active, providing our Technical Services, Specialized Recruitment and Training services. Just to give you an example of how important Guyana is for us; Exxon Mobil is going to drill 35 wells this year in that country, since there is no national operator yet. There are so many opportunities there at the moment. If you happen to be one of the first to get into Guyana you will have huge opportunities to support this industry in your area of expertise.

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