Karim Lassel
Vice President and Mexico Geomarket Director
View from the Top

Complexity Is a Market Opportunity for the Prepared

Sun, 12/02/2018 - 10:54

Q: As CGG is celebrating its 30th anniversary, what has it learned from this long experience?

A: Over the course of the last 30 years we have learned how important it is to be close to the client, to understand market needs and to address them through innovative solutions. Many companies make the mistake of selling a service just because they offer it, and then try to fit the needs of the client to that service. Thanks to our track record in Mexico, we have developed a deep understanding of Mexican geologies and hydrocarbon provinces. Some of our colleagues at CGG Mexico have almost 30 years of seniority. Very few companies can say that. Our objective in Mexico is to focus our activities on what really matters for the country, and right now that means cost-effective and value-added products, such as multiclient services and offerings. 

Q: What differentiates CGG’s GeoConsulting services in Mexico?

A: Through our GeoConsulting services, CGG has developed a series of very specific and specialized workflows that differentiate it from any other player in the market. In addition, we have three main strengths. The first lies in the expertise of our senior staff who are located around the world and on whom we can rely at any moment. The second is our GeoSoftware business line that develops geoscience software tools used by both our clients and GeoConsulting, and that are highly specialized to support the workflows we use to address our clients’ needs. Finally, with our broad, long-standing experience in the Mexican market, we have gathered an inventory of over 250 studies of all the Mexican provinces, from onshore to shallow and deepwater. Six of those studies were multidisciplinary as they included all the possible data available for those fields and can therefore be considered as major studies. Those studies were developed for PEMEX, as it was the only company operating in Mexico at that time. Today, the market is open to new companies and we are looking forward to offering such strengths to them too. 

Q: What challenges do you face when offering CGG’s services?

A: In recent years the biggest challenge has been the budget constraints most operators have had. Large contracts have been limited, although we have been successful in winning a few of them. When it comes to more modest contracts, the challenge is still the price, but here the perception of the cost of geoscience services versus fields operations has not always worked in our favor. Interestingly, the value of our services increases if clients look beyond the costs and focus on the benefits. We can compare the value of a geophysical project for the oil and gas industry to the value of an X-ray for medicine. Like an X-ray that shows what is happening inside a human body, a geophysical study provides a clear image of the Earth’s subsurface structure and, for example, where to drill to maximize oil recovery. If we miss that optimal spot by just 500m because the geophysical study was not conducted properly, this can potentially ruin a project, and exponentially increase costs to solve the problem. With this in mind, the critical role our services play in guaranteeing successful operations is obvious and they have become major tools for de-risking E&P activities. 

Q: Where in the life cycle of a well or field should seismic studies be conducted?

A: Seismic can provide critical support at almost every stage. Be it in the early stages of the exploration plan, for example, with 2D acquisition and processing to delineate regional trends, or at later stages in the field life cycle, for instance, with high-density and advanced 3D seismic to characterize reservoirs in detail and support asset managers for full field

Seismic data are highly valuable assets for an oil field and their optimization can determine whether a project is successful, or not. The secret is to always start with the end-purpose in mind.