Entrepreneurs Behind the Offshore Services IndustryWed, 01/25/2012 - 13:38
Before the discovery of Cantarell, Ciudad del Carmen was a quiet island town known mainly for its fishing industry, with a small and traditional population. With the discovery of Cantarell in 1976, however, came a massive migration that rapidly turned the island into one of the most important hubs for Mexico’s oil and gas industry. Ciudad del Carmen morphed from a fishing port into an oil services hub. In terms of infrastructure, the island saw vast construction of roads and buildings over the subsequent 30 years. Ciudad del Carmen may have lost the small town feel it used to have, but it gained the creation of an entrepreneurial culture where the local people are able to take advantage of business opportunities and work to bring new jobs to the region.
“I’m originally from Ciudad del Carmen and I was able find work in the area. A lot of people don’t have this opportunity because they have to find work outside of their village,” Juan Carlos del Río, who founded IECESA, a local oil and gas services company, in 1991 after Ciudad del Carmen bloomed,
explains. “Growing up in Ciudad del Carmen has allowed us to get acquainted with oil industry people from all over the world, which in turn opens up our world to different cultures. Some of the best companies in the industry work here, which means if you want to succeed in the market you have to work extremely hard, preparing yourself as best as you can in terms of safety, quality and administration. This leads to our continuous personal development as well as to the development of the island.”
The growth of Ciudad del Carmen transformed the island into a place where young people can look towards a stable future, and many of them base their career choices on the demands of the oil industry. “They have a clearer idea of where they want to go, because there actually is somewhere to go,” del Río says. Students in Ciudad del Carmen focus their attention on the challenges facing the oil and gas industry and prepare themselves accordingly, whether as engineers, geologists, or even - like Juan Carlos del Río - administrators of their own companies.