Victor Salazar
Manager Latin America and Caribbean
CMG
/
View from the Top

EOR/IOR Software Solutions Adapted to the Energy Transition

By Conal Quinn | Mon, 07/25/2022 - 14:00

Q: What role can CMG play in helping Mexico reach its ambitious production targets and make the goal of energy self-sufficiency more viable in the long term?

A: CMG was born 44 years ago with a focused vision on the methods of enhanced oil recovery and its software solution was created to realize this business opportunity. The company has been in Mexico for 30 years and the first projects involved EOR. CMG is the global leader in simulation modeling of EOR processes.

Q: How much does the changing political landscape factor into how you assess the opportunities in the Mexican market?

A: As a service company, we are always working hand in hand with operators. They are the ones really leading the business. In general, operators have been conservative in their approach; they are not making immediate decisions after the great investments that have been made over the years. In Colombia and other countries, this means they do not make rash decisions based on political shifts.

In relation to Mexico, the company sees great potential in the country. Of all Latin American countries, we see Mexico as having the most growth potential for CMG. Even though politics are always relevant, Mexico will not stop its oil and gas operations anytime soon.

Q: What are some of the latest software products you have made available in Mexico?

A: CMOST helps optimize EOR processes by revealing the best way to save expenses and boost production while remaining environmentally friendly. It has achieved excellent results in the Mexican market, as more engineers are learning to use and adapt it and take optimal advantage of the tool.

The second, relatively new program is called CoFlow. It integrates everything from deposits and subsoil data and links it to the surface. Mexico and PEMEX have not implemented this program yet but we aim for the NOC to analyze the program and understand its capacities. CoFlow has great potential because it provides a macro-view to managers that goes way beyond a single deposit. This is especially useful for operators working at both onshore and offshore fields.

All our products are designed to be useful for the global energy transition, boosting resources, such as hydrogen and geothermal energy, and facilitating carbon capture through modeling. Mexico has great potential in geothermal exploitation, as it was one of the first countries to develop geothermal deposits.

Q: How is CMG further preparing for this transition?

A: Most of our collaborators think the transition will happen gradually, perhaps in 30 or 40 years. Slowly, we will be using greener and cleaner energies. Anticipating this, our simulators are already programmed to model three key processes in this energy transition. Other than its focus on geothermal energy, the company also enables net-zero strategies, which balances the amount of CO2 a company produces, and models how to capture it.

Furthermore, CMG is looking at hydrogen, which is one of the crucial energy sources for the future. Green hydrogen is fully renewable but it is very expensive to produce. CMG’s technology helps to obtain, store and use hydrogen.

Q: How do you make the argument to companies like PEMEX, which have been accused in the past of being somewhat tech-averse, that such investments are now imperative?

A: Around 30 years ago, one had to work hard to convince operators about the necessity of doing simulations but today that is no longer necessary. The PEMEX group that we work with today knows the importance of having to simulate and deliver optimizations prior to investing in drilling or spudding. The technical groups know this. It was a challenge in the past but today, we do not have that problem. Simulation is an orthodox technology that is used every day.

Q: How have you adapted your software to increase the potential of unconventional plays in shale rock or ultra-deepwater reservoirs?

A: CMG’s success in the industry has been a result of listening to its clients and prospects. In the case of unconventional plays, which gained relevance 10 years ago, there are two specific CMG programs that model these deposits. The company has always used the input from these companies to enhance the modeling of fractures. The way to obtain unconventional resources is by fracturing the rock, what is known as fracking and has various phases. It requires modeling so it can be done safely and securely.

Q: How much does your software improve ESG and HSE concerns for operators?

A: For example, one of the important factors of unconventional deposits is their geomechanics, or how the rock will behave under certain pressure conditions, where and when it is fractured and if there is a risk for groundwater contamination. The simulator predicts and helps avoid those problems. Once the company sees what is going to happen, it has the chance to figure out how to solve such environmental or safety hazards before going into the field.

Q: As experts in heavy crude, what strategies could be implemented to make the heavier crude Mexico is producing more viable?

A: Thermal processes are essential to produce heavy crude. What these processes do is decrease the viscosity of the crude so that it flows more easily and can be recovered and used. In Mexico, these processes, including steam injection and in situ combustion, are already utilized often. These can all be modeled with our programs to be optimized further.

 

Computer Modelling Group (CMG) is a software company that produces reservoir simulation software for the oil and gas industry. It is based in Calgary, Canada with branch offices in Houston, Dubai, Bogota, Rio de Janeiro, London and Kuala Lumpur.

Conal Quinn Conal Quinn Journalist & Industry Analyst