Gabriel Cerdio
Executive Director
Global Accounts
View from the Top

First-of-its-Kind Subsea Technology

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 15:58

Q: How does the US$84 million contract for deepwater services boost the development of GE Oil & Gas in Mexico?

A: We participated in an interesting project related to wellheads. PEMEX has already drilled about 25 wells as part of their deepwater program, and GE has participated in every one of them through its wellhead systems. It has been a great partnership because of our clear understanding of PEMEX’s needs and the efficient way in which we have interacted. The wellheads are an important milestone but are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the scope of technologies and services required during the development and production stages. I see a huge role for GE in this future stage. We have a very large portfolio including Christmas trees, manifold risers, flexible pipelines, and a wide variety of other products. If you consider the current state of the industry here compared to what is being done on the US side of the Gulf of Mexico, it is evident there needs to be a significant increase in terms of exploration activity and the pace at which it takes place. We must adapt to the conditions of the new market, imposed by PEMEX and the new operators.

Q: How will your existing relationship with PEMEX help GE in the deepwater segment?

A: The advantage is mostly related to our human resources and our interaction with PEMEX. Being able to know and interact with key people that understand their resources and strategy is critical when developing these relationships. We not only do this with PEMEX, but with other key stakeholders in the energy industry such as SENER and CNH. Getting this working relationship right is crucial to being able to provide tailored solutions.

Q: How are GE’s main safety, technological, and costbased products and strategies different from those of your competitors?

A: Back in 2008, GE acquired Hydril, a company specialized in Blowout Preventer (BOP) technology. It is one of the world’s leading companies in this segment and has been a core addition to our portfolio. Through Hydril, we have been able to position ourselves in the surface market and feel confident that thanks to its superior technology, we will be key suppliers for the upcoming deepwater and ultra-deepwater subsea markets.

Q: What is the current balance between competition and cooperation among the leading subsea specialists focusing on the Mexican market?

A: I do not see cooperation happening for now as it is not necessary at this stage. If you look at more developed markets, cooperation is not only necessary but critical. For example, the Ormen Lange project in the North Sea is an incredible example of cooperation where GE is working with other technology firms and with several operators to develop a first-of-its-kind subsea compression system. This project is currently in testing mode and has been for several years because it really is at the forefront of technology. If we are only able to provide part of the solution, we have to cooperate with other companies. At the moment, this is not the case in Mexico but it may very well happen in the future.