Ricardo Orrantia
Grupo Altavista
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Automated Data-Handling Leads to Improved Operations

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 12:35

Having found a dearth of state-of-the-art technology in the energy sector, Grupo Altavista has taken it upon itself to offer holistic services in monitoring, automation, inspection, and security for oil and gas wells, refineries, pipelines, chemical plants, storage units, and hydrocarbon separation facilities. The company has long specialized in developing automation techniques for remote data collection in real time, and much of Grupo Altavista’s work with PEMEX has been focused on well monitoring, such as implementing SCADA systems. Today, Grupo Altavista is designing new entry points to access collected data to enhance the capabilities of clients like PEMEX to control production and optimize the distribution of hydrocarbons. Furthermore, the application of data warehouses gives PEMEX immediate access to information and its adequate management. All of these solutions share the common goal of making data readily available in a timely manner so delays in decisionmaking processes are significantly reduced. “Our solutions have accounted for substantial decreases in losses and risks for PEMEX and other clients, while allowing for a better response capacity against contingencies in operations,” says Ricardo Orrantia, CEO of Grupo Altavista.

“Our projects in the energy sector have been truly successful,” says Orrantia. “The automation of 47 pipeline transport systems for PEMEX Refining provides a solid example of this success.” The delivered results have seen the company be granted contract extensions in several projects. For instance, Grupo Altavista implemented an integrated monitoring service at 1,500 gas wells in the Burgos Basin, which resulted in increased production while the immediate shutdown of wells was made possible in case of emergencies. Having several business units serving a variety of industries gives Grupo Altavista the flexibility to create multidisciplinary solutions. The company’s different areas combine “excellence, leadership, and innovation to deliver services with added value regardless of our customers’ activities,” says Orrantia. This multidisciplinary approach takes shape within teams of specialists who work together across industries, although oil and gas is currently a particular priority. These, in Orrantia’s opinion, will consist of a greater demand for the company’s services at all levels of operations in both PEMEX and its subsidiaries. “Nowadays, Mexico has reservoirs at different stages of production and each one of them poses different challenges. Grupo Altavista is dedicated to developing its capacities to cater to the emerging needs,” comments Orrantia. He believes the possibility of exploiting shale oil and gas reserves will expand the need for automation and monitoring applications. In the face of increased foreign competition, including from heavyweight rivals, Grupo Altavista intends to diversify its operations further to take advantage of the reformed oil and gas market. Beyond its current focus on automation solutions, the firm is investing in the chemical solutions that help increase hydrocarbon production. The company has already begun designing chemical products that contribute to the different stages of PEMEX’s integrated production system, including reservoirs, wells, and topside facilities. Grupo Altavista’s chemicals will attend to the specific challenges inherent to the Mexican industry, such as crude viscosity, composition, and other factors that complicate extraction and transportation. Another angle of this diversification is seeing the firm mulling over the potential to enter pipeline construction.

Grupo Altavista knows its success will be based on one element: helping PEMEX reach its production targets. To do so, the company cannot only count on its own pluck and innovative capability. Building strategic partnerships that facilitate technology transfers is key. “Technological advances have been an integral part of all of our operations, allowing us to distinguish ourselves from the competition through constant innovation and the development of new capacities that address problems efficiently and effectively,” says Orrantia. “We understand the importance of having allies who share our vision and have the skills to help us develop attractive alternatives to existing strategies.” Grupo Altavista is seeking to partner with oil industry experts to establish itself as a top contractor for hydrocarbon extraction, processing, and transportation, and views reaching out to other parties as essential. Rather than fearing competitors, Orrantia says his company wants to identify possible partners to combine experience and knowledge and allow Grupo Altavista’s data collection and management solutions to serve new market segments.