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Analysis

Anticipating Massive Shale Development in Mexico

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 10:53

Mexican shale operations are focused on proving the extension of the Eagle Ford formation and other shale basins extending from south Texas into the north of Mexico. Schlumberger is helping PEMEX, IMP, and COMESA to carry out the exploration surveys necessary to delimit the potential of these shale areas in Mexico. “We have a fully dedicated team of unconventional specialists working with PEMEX to help characterize these reservoirs and to develop a successful drilling and completion strategy,” says Arindam Bhattacharya, President of Mexico and Central America of Schlumberger.

Bhattacharya explains that the global approach for the exploitation of shale reservoirs has changed throughout the years. “Our approach to shale exploitation is to optimize the well placement and completion in a more scientific manner, based on better characterization of the shale reservoir,” says Bhattacharya. “When shale oil and gas exploitation first started, the approach of many companies was based on maximizing horsepower as companies tried to frack their way into results. Instead, Schlumberger’s approach has always based on characterizing and understanding the reservoir to locate the sweet spots. After that, we focus the completions on the aforementioned sweet spots to save time, resources, and money. This approach results in more economic developments that create additional value for the customer by maximizing the productivity of the wells and also ensuring an optimized use of resources.”

Schlumberger has worked on shale reservoir characterization around the world and is now set to bring that expertise to Mexico. The company is not only looking at collaborating on the technical aspects of shale operations, but also at raising awareness of the additional requirements associated with the mass development of shale. “Massive shale developments require considerable logistical and infrastructure capacity,” says Bhattacharya. “Schlumberger has already conducted some workshops with PEMEX, where our experts are brought in to share the logistical challenges of mass shale developments with PEMEX’s staff. In the end, we believe that the best way to tackle these developments is to have a fully integrated workflow that includes characterization, drilling, completion, and exploitation. This is the next logical step in the process, once Mexico enters the shale development stage,” says Bhattacharya.