Building Blocks for GrowthTue, 01/22/2013 - 14:35
Ecuador produced about 500,000 b/d during 2012, leaving substantial potential for future production increases considering that the southern Amazon region has not been explored yet. For 2013, a 10% increase in production is expected. Fueled by its growing oil and gas industry, Ecuador has been able to develop a number of companies offering high quality products and services that allow them to compete in the global market, where major multinational companies have been operating for longer periods of time. According to Bolívar Araujo, CEO of Sertecpet in Mexico, this is one of the reasons why Ecuador is nowadays exporting its technology to Mexico. “Even though Ecuador is a small country compared to Mexico, it is very important in terms of technological development in the oil and gas industry,” Araujo says.
Now based in Villahermosa, Tabasco, Sertecpet first came to Mexico in 2005, but it was not until 2011 that the company got its first contract with Pemex. “We signed a general agreement on September 24, 2011 and a specific contract with the southern region a month later,” describes Araujo. “With this contract, Sertecpet implemented six Jet Claw Pump System in the Muspac field. When the results of the operation were presented, the asset managers of the Cinco Presidentes field also requested five Jet Claw Pump Systems. We believe that opportunities will continue to grow in Mexico with the NOC’s aggressive drilling strategy to achieve oil production targets,” Araujo explains. Expecting tentative opportunities in Pánuco, Magallanes, Santuario, and Chicontepec in the future, Sertecpet continues to prepare by adjusting itself to the Mexican way of working. “Mexico is different from other Latin American countries,” Araujo says. “Those differences merit that the company’s future plans include bringing the whole operation to Mexico. Currently, we are manufacturing additional equipment for future operations locally; some components are made in Tultitlán, Querétaro, and Mexico City. By providing the design details and plans, we commit to a strategic partnership with Mexican companies for the manufacturing process.”
This is just the beginning for Sertecpet, since the company intends to stay in the country. “The stakeholders’ philosophy is to invest in Mexico and create local jobs,” Araujo reveals. “Currently, 85% of our associates are of Mexican origin and are being trained to operate our hydraulic pump system, which is slightly different from traditional pneumatic pump systems that have been used here in the past. As business opportunities continue to grow, so will Sertecpet. We’re looking at the possibility of building a plant in Mexico.”
“We are introducing an innovation to our Jet Claw Pumps, which is currently being tested in field operations back in Ecuador,” Araujo details. “In recent years, in order to extract data from the wells while carrying out completion operations, the pump had to be removed from the well to download data from the sensors for evaluation. With this innovation, electronic sensors can extract data while the pump is in operation, and transmit it to our software, allowing field managers to access information on a real- time basis.”
The importance of this innovation is that it saves time during the operation: while the pump continues to perform artificial lifting tasks, the field manager can analyze reservoir behavior and make decisions faster. “Data such as permeability and pressure, besides the possible damage that the well might have suffered during the operation, are available for decision-makers to react quickly.” While this system continues to be tested in Ecuador, Araujo believes it will not be long before Mexico can start reaping its benefits.
Another growth area for Sertecpet in Mexico is modular production systems. The company wants to bring the expertise acquired during their implementation in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, in order to facilitate early production in the Mexican market. “We believe that proper planning can produce significant savings at different production stages in Pemex’s South Region,” Araujo says. “Sometimes, the information of a reservoir’s potential is not accurate – due to additional discoveries or miscalculations. When this happens, there is a huge possibility of building oversized or undersized production facilities.” This represents an additional cost to the NOC and engineering companies. “Therefore, through modular production facilities, we are able to adjust the production capacity in accordance with the potential of the well, by adding or removing modules as required.”
The next stage of growth for Sertecpet in Mexico will include entering the exploration and production market, as the company has already acquired the competencies and experience to do so. “In Ecuador, Sertecpet started as a service provider, and now operates different fields,” Araujo comments. “Once we fully position ourselves in Mexico, with patented technologies such as hydraulic pumps and modular production systems, and thanks to the opportunities that Pemex has given us, the next step will be to become operators in the country. We have already bid in Carrizo, and we will actively participate in the next round of ISCs.”