Marco Osorio
Director General
IMP
/
View from the Top

Efficiency, Reduced Environmental Impact are Top Priorities

By Peter Appleby | Mon, 12/23/2019 - 09:00

Q: How would you characterize the new role IMP will play in the administration’s plans for Mexico’s oil and gas development?

A: The federal government has been very clear regarding its expectations of IMP, and these are very much aligned with what historically has been our four main functions. The first is the creation and development of new technologies.

Second is the massification of those same technologies. What this means is that our technological development process cannot be merely exploratory or academic in nature, but must instead focus on technologies that can be supplied and marketed. Everything we develop needs to reach the market and be designed to solve specific industry wide problems. Our third function is to generate and support national capabilities in terms of human resources and talent. This means creating and representing internationally competitive human capital dedicated to serving the national industry’s needs and addressing specific challenges. Finally, our fourth function is to be a kind of technical consultant for the federal government. This last function has been adapted to the expectations of the new administration.

Q: What are the most important items on IMP’s agenda regarding upstream development?

A: One of our main priorities in our approach to developing technologies for the industry’s entire value chain is efficiency and reducing environmental impact. In terms of the upstream segments of that chain, this is expressed in a number of ways. One is characterization: we are looking for new ways to create precise and accurate models of Mexico’s reservoirs through the effective collection and interpretation of data. Another is the developing and testing of chemical products for higher levels of flow and production assurance.

This is done as part of a wider production strategy that is also integrated with the exploration priorities that focuses on increasing recovery factors of between 50 and 70 percent. The technologies we develop toward that purpose and their development cycles all need to function economically at US$30 per barrel. This is why PEMEX has communicated its intention to increase the use of EOR, IOR and artificial lift technologies and services. Our job is to support this increase while shortening the development cycle of these technologies as much as possible. We have grown our infrastructure to fulfill this role. A great example of this is the formerly know Center for Deepwater Technology (CTAP) in Boca Del Rio, Veracruz. CTAP started operations in 2018. It has five laboratories that are fully staffed and working on an initial project portfolio that includes testing technologies that PEMEX plans to implement as early as this year. We are working to expand the range of CTAP’s capabilities by converting it into a center where all kinds of exploration and production technologies can be developed. Therefore, we have changed its name to Center for Exploration and Production Technology (CTEP). I would also like to mention this year’s inauguration of CNH’s two lithoteques, one of which IMP is currently managing. We played a significant role in helping CNH develop its procedures for the storage, handling and analysis of these samples.

Q: What are some of the challenges for the midstream anddownstream segments?

A: As extracted crude gets heavier; Mexico’s midstream and downstream infrastructure needs to be developed and optimized to process and transform it. In the midstream area, IMP is conducting research by testing the mechanical and physical aspects of our storage and transportation systems. In the downstream segment, IMP will continue to play a key role in the development cycle of the Dos Bocas refinery project.

Our participation in this project is part of a wider agenda of renovation and modernization of Mexico’s entire downstream apparatus, including existing refineries and petrochemical complexes as well. We are working to make their processes more flexible and to integrate more cracking procedures into the stages. To reduce environmental impact, these stages need to be less energy intensive and more environmentally productive, which not only means reducing the sulfur content of fuels but also the content of other pollutants.

 

The Mexican Petroleum Institute (IMP) has 54 years of experience in generating expertise and technological capabilities for the hydrocarbons sector. Its goal is to maximize value generation in exploration, production and transformation process

Peter Appleby Peter Appleby Journalist and Industry Analyst