Expansion of Geophysical Data MarketWed, 01/22/2014 - 10:25
Q: What has been the geographic and geological focus of Grupo Nuñez’s activities over the past year?
A: The southern region has typically been extremely important for us, especially in shallow salt areas, ranging from Coatzacoalcos to Frontera as well as parts of Chiapas. Our geophysical information activities have been mainly concentrated in supporting COMESA. Another important aspect of our activities has taken place in Veracruz and in Poza Rica, in the Limonaria Shale Oil project. We have been supporting two teams from COMESA there. PEMEX is strongly promoting the discovery of new unconventional resources and has set shale gas and shale oil as the most important objectives. PEMEX, through the IMP, launched two important projects: Limonaria, located between Tampico and Poza Rica, and Galaxia, located in the northern section of this same area. The first step that PEMEX took was to order a seismic acquisition project to verify that its analysis of geologic and geophysical information was correct; the company was interested in determining which specific sections of the shale rock could offer the highest production of unconventional oil.
Q: How will Grupo Nuñez respond to the creation of a new market for geological information in Mexico?
A: Our principal objective is to remain involved and ready to provide whatever geological analysis may be needed. There is no doubt that those who will largely be in charge of handling this information will be CNH. There is also no doubt that PEMEX will have to provide most of the geophysical and seismic information it currently possesses. In order to correctly evaluate the blocks that will be included in future licensing rounds, all of this information must be complemented with more seismic data. Before the Energy Reform, speculative work was expressively prohibited by the law. But with the Energy Reform having now passed, CNH will allow this type of work. As a matter of fact, it will be an objective to use such operations to obtain more seismic information. We are planning to form alliances with companies that are dedicated to this type of work, and who want to take on the risk of acquiring such data. We could contribute to such alliances through our infrastructure and highly skilled team. We will also seek to establish agreements with CNH so Grupo Nuñez can be in charge of data acquisition for blocks that are to be auctioned off. This would give CNH the ability to evaluate these blocks more accurately while still retaining ownership over the data. However, we hope that said data will be available for purchase by the companies that intend to work on those blocks or areas. The future outlook of data acquisition appears to favor multi-client data gathering projects and we want to be present on both sides of the equation: supporting CNH and the service companies that will be acquiring the data.
Q: How does the creation of the National Center of Hydrocarbon Information influence industry standards?
A: We will undoubtedly have to apply international norms and practices. We are being aided by the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC) to apply their standards for seismic data acquisition in Mexico. We are also using state-of-the-art technology and instrumentation since our company represents Sercel, a leader in this segment, and will continue to develop digital sensors and other unique sensors for work in high-density projects.
Q: What is the current market perception of Mexico as a potential market for foreign geophysical contractors and technology developers?
A: They are all very interested and we expect increasing demand for seismic work will create great opportunities in Mexico. It will be relatively easy to take advantage of this situation to introduce new technologies to Mexico and incorporate them into our data acquisition operations. We already have a laboratory and a training center in place here and its current capacity can be doubled once more activity takes place in Mexico. We expect the winner of future licensing rounds to increase the demand for seismic data. We might even prepare this data ahead of the anticipated increase in demand, so that it will be ready to be deployed when necessary. The companies that we have made alliances with, like Sercel, are fully behind the expansion here and are proving to be very flexible to furnish us with more equipment and technology. That is the most beneficial factor for Grupo Nuñez. As the market opens, we will receive a higher amount of equipment, which was previously limited due to the conditions of the Mexican oil and gas industry. Our plans now also include an expansion of our warehouses so that we can better supply our clients.