Arindam Bhattacharya
President of Mexico and Central America
Schlumberger
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View from the Top

Energy Reform Creates New Opportunities in Exploration

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 13:53

Q: What role does Schlumberger aspire to play in the Mexican market for multi-client seismic surveys?

A: Multi-client acquisition involves a substantial investment from our side, hence we carry out a comprehensive risk assessment with regards to the market prior to making the decision to invest in the acquisition and the subsequent processing. The areas that are currently available from CNH for multiclient permits include some areas where there may be significantly complex geological challenges, for example, the presence of salt formations that may make it very challenging to successfully image formations underneath using traditional 2D or 3D surveys. Similar challenges in the US Gulf of Mexico had inspired us to develop some very innovative survey designs with our industry leading seismic imaging technology. Our strong technology focus, driven by our subsurface understanding, was a key factor for a successful multiclient model in the US Gulf of Mexico. It is our strong belief that the geological challenges in the Mexican areas present similar opportunities for a technology-driven multiclient acquisition, which will be critical for de-risking exploration plays and eventually accelerating development plans. Ultimately, the availability of high quality information will lead to better decisions, and successful future bid rounds.

Multi-client surveys are focused on acquisition and processing. Many customers would handle their own interpretation, as this is closely linked to their decisionmaking process. Our primary focus is that the decisionmaking process be based on the best information available in the industry, acquired by the best technological solution. Our integrated software platform can support our customer across the chain, starting with seismic processing, basin modeling, prospect selection and evaluation, field development, and eventually production management. Our petrotechnical experts (PTEs) work very closely with our customers during these various phases, and support them to as much extent as our customers require. We have had the end to end technical knowledge for many decades, and we do not see our role fundamentally changing; we continue to be a technology provider, and we will continue to work closely with our customers to support their exploration, development, and production endeavors, using our technology, processes, and professionals.

Q: How is the drilling market going to change as new operators enter the Mexican market, and how will this help Schlumberger offer its products?

A: PEMEX has tremendous experience and track record in some pretty complex drilling environments, both onshore and in the offshore shelf. The influx of new operators will also bring best practices in some of the less-drilled environments, for example in deeper waters and sub-salt. Alliances between PEMEX and the new operators should lead to knowledge sharing, eventually enhancing operating practices to reduce overall risk. We have extensive experience working with the potential newcomers in the US Gulf of Mexico and in other parts of the world, and are quite comfortable in supporting them as well as PEMEX through the transition.

Q: What has been driving that rebound in the demand for integrated project management, and what is your outlook for the coming years?

A: When it comes to Integrated Project Management (IPM), we are very proud of having successfully pioneered these efforts in Mexico, which resulted in unprecedented operational efficiency improvements and optimization of lifting costs. All these through implementation of world class processes and procedures, new technology adoption, and the highest service delivery standards. In 2014, our IPM projects had more than ten rigs deployed between the Mesoizoic, Tertiary, and ATG projects. Recently, there is more and more interest for this operating model offshore. In deepwater, we have been integrating services to ensure that technical risk is minimized. There is also a higher degree of integrated delivery in development projects, and even in offshore intervention. We are engaged with several potential new operators who are interested in our execution capacity and our IPM footprint, and we have experiences with some of them in previous setup operations for new areas in other parts of the world. Some of our customers are interested in the IPM model since it allows them to start operations very quickly, leveraging our existing footprint and countryspecific operating experience. Due to the long track record of IPM in Mexico, we have a very experienced team in place, currently supporting PEMEX in multiple projects, and it is ready to support any new players in their transition.