Q: How has Petrolink evolved its offering over the last few years?
A: Petrolink started operations in 2004 but our first contract in Mexico was granted in 2006. We have overcome many milestones during these 10 years but in the last five we have positioned ourselves as PEMEX’s main provider for real- time services. This achievement is related to the fact that we introduced PEMEX to some of the best practices that we have implemented in other locations such as the Middle East or the US. We provided PEMEX with a mechanism that allowed real control of the data from wells that were being drilled. This allowed PEMEX to control the data, even though most of it is generated by third parties.
Q: How do Petrolink’s data systems help companies increase the efficiency and cost effectiveness of their wells?
A: The main issue in the industry right now is control of operational costs. When oil was at US$100/b nobody cared if their operations were efficient or not. But when the price dropped below US$30/b everyone started looking at things differently. Companies have been forced to become more aware of their costs and are investing in technological solutions that represent savings or an increase in production rates. Our solutions do not increase production levels but we help our clients reduce operational times and costs. If we save our customer one day of well operations at a cost of US$500,000 per day, that client will pay for our services for two or three years.
Q: How do the needs of clients and needs related to business strategy drive R&D?
A: Petrolink is a company whose executives are involved in the operations and are always open to new ideas. We focus on our clients’ needs worldwide, which shape Petrolink’s operational strategy. Operators like PEMEX and Saudi Aramco have a great influence on our development strategy. We listen to our clients and we are not necessarily thinking what we can sell to them but what can we do for them. We are aware that sometimes we miss out on projects because there are budget constraints or the operations were suspended, but we tend to have longstanding relationships with clients.
Q: How will you communicate these values to the new players entering the market?
A: Some of the companies that are coming to Mexico are already our clients. My colleagues in Houston have been 189 helping us to reach out to them. However, there are many new players, particularly small Mexican companies, that will be in onshore or service companies that are becoming operators. We also are working to support them. There are also companies that won blocks in regions that we have already worked on so we can provide them with information about that particular well and help them tackle any issues. We are going after the companies to which we can provide high value. This requires us to think outside the box because we have been working for PEMEX exclusively for almost 10 years. Petrolink now has a separate team exclusively handling new opportunities.
Q: What are the company’s expectations for the next few years?
A: For PEMEX we are the reference for real-time services, not necessarily the biggest provider. We promote the use of standards that were not developed by Petrolink because they help our clients to be independent. It does not matter if the data used is from Schlumberger and the software from Halliburton as long as the data is standardized. This is one of the main values we managed to include in PEMEX’s operations. The NOC released the first policy on data collection in 2015 and it states that all data has to be standardized. This opens the market for companies like ours because operators do not have to stick to the same provider. It offers more competition and more power to the oil company. This year, we started working with PEMEX on a concept it created called PEMEX Operational Excellence Center, which works with our technology and management tools. PEMEX chose us because we are a neutral company and it knows it can use our standards.