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Digitalizing the Midstream Market

Mario Chávez - GE
Executive Commercial Director


Wed, 01/18/2017 - 10:46

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Q: How is GE positioned in the Mexican market and how has the company handled its transformation due to the Energy Reform?

A: In the energy area GE has business units in oil and gas, power generation, renewables and electricity. Today those business lines combined make up to 70 percent of our revenues in Mexico, so they are really important for us. In oil and gas GE covers a wide range of technologies and solutions for downstream, midstream and upstream technologies and solutions.

We are aware of how the Mexican industry, thanks to the Energy Reform, is going from having really heavy governmental involvement with companies like PEMEX for oil and gas and CFE for electricity and power generation, to now having the presence of a multitude of different companies with diverse skills that can improve the market but also with different needs and goals that must be addressed in another way.

Q: How is GE getting involved in Mexico’s midstream industry?

A: In midstream GE is already working on several projects, including gas pipelines. We are proud to be part of the country’s largest gas pipeline project, which stretches from the south of Texas to Tuxpan. Its largest compression station is based in Altamira, where three of our PGT25+G4 turbines will be used to compress the gas with a total combined power of 102MW. This project will bring 2.1 billion cfd, or one-third of the gas imports currently coming into Mexico. We are also taking a deep look into the Ministry of Energy's Five-Year Plan as well as talking to private players looking for business opportunities.

Q: What steps is GE taking to address the bias against digitalization that some customers may have?

A: It is a challenge. Even though customers like the idea, understand that the world is changing and recognize how these digital solutions can help them get more out of their assets, most do not yet have the mindset to embrace the digital world. To address this, GE is always looking for pilot projects to showcase its digital solutions in a real operating environment, illustrating the benefits to the customer and possibly allowing for a full-plant project.

Q: What can be expected from the GE-Baker Hughes merger?

A: With the Baker Hughes merger GE recognized its deficiencies in the oil and gas arena. We saw that to become a full supporter of industrial digitalization, we needed more knowledge and experience in operations. To solve those issues, we recognized that the best option was to work with Baker Hughes, one of the most important oilfield services providers in the world, to combine our technologies with their operations and bring the best solutions to the market for our customers.

We expect this merger to be key in our transformation as a company to become a more robust oil and gas player, not only with technology but with operational knowledge. This process was focused on getting more value for the solutions we offer to customers. Furthermore, we consider the timing to be perfect, with the market being ever more demanding and asking for better solutions.

Q: What solutions are the most valuable for the industry?

A: GE’s Predix application, which is not only for oil and gas but for all our industrial business units, allows industries to connect all the assets they own, gather data about them, process it and through analytics that depend on industry algorithms, come to conclusions on how to operate the assets in the best possible way, predict their behavior and even predict maintenance needs before they become critical. We are aware that there are different systems besides Predix providing data to customers and therefore we are working to make Predix adaptable to those systems, so it can gather and process data in the same way and with the same optimal results.

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