Mariano Hernández
Director
Nuvoil
/
View from the Top

Expected Production Boost for Benavides-Primavera

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 17:10

Q: What reasons drove you to establish a consortium to participate in R1-L03?

A: We feel that our company has great potential to learn and grow in the new environment created by the Energy Reform. The size of our company complied with the requirements established by the Mexican authorities for the Round One auctions, and we presented a wise proposal, bidding for three gas fields and one oilfield. Fortunately, we were awarded the Benavides-Primavera field, which has already been in operation for 20 years. Despite the field’s age, we are confident that our knowledge and skills will make the operations profitable and that we will acquire important expertise in exploration and drilling from this project, which will complement the expertise we already have in shallow waters. Constructora Marusa is a partner company with a strong focus on infrastructure development, a sector where it is a leading actor.

Q: What are the main challenges that you expect to face during the operation of the Benavides-Primavera field?

A: Firstly, we were already familiar with the field conditions as we have experience working in that region for more than 20 years. This experience provides us with in-depth knowledge about the field’s challenges and strengths and gives us the operational expertise required to operate the field successfully. For us, the challenge will not be to maintain the current production rates, but rather to increase them by 25%. It is important to highlight that we are not an EPC company but an operator. Our core business is to handle oil in artificial lift equipment and gas in compression systems, in both onshore and offshore facilities.

We are certain that we will maintain the production rates. However, in order to increase production, we will need to perform minor and major repairs in the following two to three years. We are planning to adopt the Jet Frac technique, which consists of using a drilling system called Abrasive Jet Cutter in an existing field to reach productive rocks that remain unexploited. We have never used this technology before, but it has proven to be efficient and cost-effective in the other fields where it has been utilized.

The project’s timeframe has already been established by CNH, and according to the agenda, we expect to sign the contract on May 8 and take control of the field within the subsequent 90 days as laid out by the guidelines. Afterward, we will have 120 days to deliver the evaluation plan, and a further 240 days to begin the execution plan.

Q: What are your expectations for the use of EOR methods in Mexico?

A: Imagine that the oil field is a soccer ball filled with oil and gas. The gas keeps the ball pressurized, providing the energy needed to push the oil out. If the ball gets perforated, the pressure of the gas and the density difference will remove the oil first. As the pressure decreases, so does the ball’s energy, which makes extracting oil from the inside more difficult. At the beginning of the process, the product extracted is mostly oil, but the percentage of gas in the mix increments with time as the pressure decreases in the interior. Therefore, in well-exploited fields, companies need to inject gas at the same pace they are extracting oil to maintain the constant energy levels, and this can be done by injecting gas in the field’s cap or the oil column. Both techniques are included in the artificial services that we provide to oil and gas fields. We believe that EOR techniques will be crucial to boosting Mexico’s oil and gas industry, and we are already starting to observe an increased prevalence in the use of this method.

Q: What is your flagship project, and what is your strategy to become a leading operator in Mexico?

A: Currently, our most important project is the Agosto 12 platform, a specially constructed jackup that is designed to support five gas turbocompressors with a capacity of over 200mcf/d. The rig will contribute around 8.8bcf of gas to the Mexican oil and gas industry, which will be incorporated into the national gas distribution system. Generally speaking, the most important projects are still in the pipeline, rather than the ones we are already undertaking. We are now looking to consolidate our company as an operator, and will continue offering our services to PEMEX and private companies seeking to get the best out of their fields.