Paolo Gaffuri
Country Head
Pietro Fiorentini Mexico
View from the Top

Expanding Portfolio to Answer Market Demand

Mon, 02/26/2018 - 10:52

Q: What were Pietro Fiorentini’s considerations when building its Villahermosa multiphase flow meters plant?

A: Our Villahermosa facility includes offices, a warehouse, and a workshop used for our multiphase flow meters. We are focused on providing services, using our own assets, in the multiphase metering business. Mexico is an important and growing market: PEMEX and new operators arriving here will increase aggregate oil and gas production over time, requiring multiphase flow metering services, fiscal metering installations and gas-treatment facilities to comply with CNH requirements. 

We want to be close to our customers, according to our strategic local-for-local approach and, therefore, we selected Mexico as a key country for directly providing our products and services, starting in 2013. We chose to set up in Villahermosa to be close to our customers and their operations, and we will expand to Ciudad del Carmen to address offshore operations and to the northeast of the country to address Burgos, Chicontepec and other offshore opportunities.

Q: What particular aspects of Mexico’s industry make it attractive for the services Pietro Fiorentini provides?

A: We started providing services in multiphase metering because PEMEX’s business model focused on attracting this particular service, but there are several key aspects of Mexico’s oil and gas industry, that make this market attractive, including the country's proven oil and gas reserves. Other considerations are that the Energy Reform has brought in several dozen new operators that will invest several billion dollars in exploration, development and production initiatives, the anticipation that Mexico’s aggregate production will increase substantially over time, and the need to accurately measure oil and gas production. Additionally, Mexico is an open and stable economy with modern regulations that allow foreign investment, fair taxation and low tariffs. Pietro Fiorentini continues to design, develop, patent and manufacture proprietary multiphase flow meters, allowing us to offer integrated services and reliable measurements using our own state-of-the-art meters. In this way, our clients benefit from having one single point of responsibility, dealing directly with the technology owner.

In 2015, the market dropped dramatically but we see other opportunities in the near future to provide fiscal metering devices and services, and also to the natural gas treatment and power generation sectors, where we can offer fuel treatment, fiscal metering, natural gas metering and regulation system packages. We are also developing a suite of new tools for enhanced oil recovery, mature fields and exploration, which we look forward to introducing in the Mexican E&P sector. 

Q: How did Pietro Fiorentini set a foothold in Mexico’s fiscal metering niche?

A: We set a foothold by having preferred access to cuttingedge, precise technology, experienced in-house engineering and design capabilities, significant experience and references, and the financial means to design, manufacture, build and install fiscal meters where necessary. We have supplied fiscal metering packages to major oil and gas companies around the world, such as ENI, Saudi Aramco, Qatar Petroleum and Shell. 

Q: What differentiators are key when designing a multiphase meter?

A: The key differentiators include having advanced physics and engineering capabilities in-house, dedicated manufacturing and testing facilities, advanced manufacturing and testing equipment, very high standards and procedures, continuous product improvement systems, collaboration with the best international R&D companies and universities for specific technical know-how, understanding of the market and operators’ needs, funding and knowledgeable management.

The key differentiators when offering multiphase flow metering services to operators are low-cost, reliable measurements, being on time by having best-in-class, third-party certified multiphase flow meters, different sizes and configurations of multiphase flow meters, highly trained and dedicated technical personnel and operators and seamless communications between the factory, the technicians and the field. 

There are many multiphase flow meters offered in the E&P sector, they all have technical pros and cons. Multiphase flow meters are, by definition, highly technical and advanced devices, requiring qualified and dedicated personnel to operate them effectively, guaranteeing high availability. In Mexico, we own the technology, advanced sensor calibration equipment and spare parts. We also have factory-trained personnel on hand. Other companies offer multiphase flow metering services with third-party equipment but they do not own the technology. Multiphase metering technology evolves continuously. Newcomers are entering the sector, motivating us to continue investing in product R&D, development and innovation and to further improve our field services.

Q: How does Pietro Fiorentini address local content provisions in its products and services?

A: Pietro Fiorentini can boast considerable longevity in the market as it was established in 1938. Our default market insertion approach stipulates sending a management team to incorporate best practices into a particular new market to be sure that the standards and the DNA of the company are established locally and up to par with their international counterparts. In this way, we comply with our local-forlocal rule, in which we empower national professionals by gradually inserting them into the management of our day-to-day operations. It is a natural part of the growth curve at any of our local organizations. Failing to invest in a qualified and proficient local team will jeopardize your long-term growth.

Q: Looking at Mexico’s oil and gas market as a whole, what are your priorities?

A: We have different approaches for each segment. In upstream, we are managing the business directly, while for low-pressure natural gas in the downstream segment, we mainly operate through distributors that sell and promote our pressure regulators.

In the particular case of Mexico, we are focused on the upstream sector while continuously evaluating the natural gas distribution segment and increasing our presence in this niche. We are in talks with CENAGAS and companies involved in natural gas distribution where we can supply our services, such as odorization systems and cathodic protection, which are Pietro Fiorentini’s core strengths in this niche.

Q: What trends have you detected in reservoir management in Mexico?

A: Pietro Fiorentini has detected a couple of trends in reservoir management in Mexico. First, PEMEX Exploracion y Produccion is requiring more accurate measurements more often in order to better understand reservoir performance and to be able to introduce measurement results into its production models. Second, clients are asking for increasingly integrated services for well monitoring, management and testing, well beyond multiphase meters. We are moving in the direction of offering more integrated services to our operator clients.