Fernando Cardenal
Manager Latin America
Oil & Gas of GTM
Guillermo Lopez
Guillermo Lopez
Market Manager
Oil & Gas of GTM
View from the Top

Drilling Efficiency Through Chemical Supply

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 19:38

Q: How have you positioned yourself to take advantage of reactivated drilling activity in Mexico?

GL: We had clear plans to take advantage of the Energy Reform all the way back in 2014. The contracting process and the oil price crash meant that we really only started seeing the effect of the Energy Reform, and of all the logistical preparations that we made to reap its benefits, in late 2017. The fact that we are a global group with significant presence in several sectors allowed us to support ourselves throughout those complicated years. Since late 2017, however, we have seen steady and reliable growth in our oil and gas activities in Mexico. While we work directly with the major names in oil-field services, who know us through the work we do for them in other parts of the world, rather than as direct contractors for the new operators, the entry of the latter into the Mexican industry has greatly increased the demand for our wideranging product and service portfolio.

FC: Our close relationship with established names in oilfield services that have decades of history working in Mexico means we can get information from them on the specifics demands and characteristics of the Mexican drilling sector, which in turn meant we can apply the chemical innovations of our suppliers to the specific cases that present themselves in this context. This gives us an opportunity to sometimes be the first to bring these products to market and apply them in ways that directly optimize our clients’ processes.

Q: What are the most important ways in which your services and products create new and sought-after efficiencies in Mexican drilling operations?

GL: The number, variety and range of products is vast but there are definitive examples of solutions that address questions of drilling efficiency. Two years ago, we began bringing well completion fluids into Mexico that have a number of crucial functions in drilling operations, such as cleaning and preparing the well for optimal productivity. The use of these products has significantly increased since then, thanks in part to the efforts we have put into organizing seminars to educate companies on the positive impact that these products can have on their bottom line. This can apply particularly to offshore drilling operations, where we also offer products like liquid viscosifiers, which play a similarly essential role in creating efficiencies by increasing the general usability of drilling fluids.

EC: Cost and time-frame reduction are key. After the oil price crash, all operators began constantly haggling and bringing prices down while looking for ways to mitigate downtime almost completely. Our ultimate goal is to improve the competitiveness of our clients’ operations through our services. We reduce operational time by offering specific types of products, logistical time by making sure those products are constantly available and regulatory-compliance time by making sure our products are of the highest quality.

GL: A significant part of our added value in terms of efficiency comes from our logistical capabilities as a distributor, where we have successfully integrated large-scale transportation with localized channels to create a significant network of storage and supply that is available to our clients 24/7. The Mexican drilling sector is characterized by its short-term needs and emergencies, which we are fully capable of addressing. Our clients base their orders on forecasts, which is why we usually manage two months of available inventory for them. Drilling operations in Mexico are unpredictable and a loss of fluid can generate lost time because more material has to be budgeted and paid for to continue the drill. Having available product at the worksite and our supply infrastructure near the worksite is an enormous advantage, especially since many of these products would need to be imported if stocks ran out, generating exponentially extensive and expensive delays for our clients.

GTM is a leading provider of chemical products to a wide variety of industries across Latin America. The company delivers chemical solutions throughout the oil and gas value chain, employing applied and tailored R&D to client’s specifications.