Geoscience Helps Operators Increase ProductionWed, 01/20/2016 - 18:54
As the fall in oil prices shakes the entire industry, Geoprocesados has adapted its strategy by first identifying the services that reduced the highest incidence of risk for its clients. Javier Rubio, General Manager of Geoprocesados, explains that oil companies have reduced their investments, but they should opt for the studies his company is conducting because these will reduce the uncertainty of their wells, exploration sites, and operations. “We are looking to provide services that can incorporate production at a faster rate, reduce risk, and increase the success rate of wells.” He also points out that people tend to confuse geological and geophysics studies with exploration projects, although some of the former are often carried out with the aim of improving production.
Although Geoprocesados’ expertise encompasses most oil and gas areas found in Mexico, the company provides a significant added value in naturally fractured formations and fractured carbonates, and is currently acquiring more experience in unconventionals. “If a well does not correctly cross the highly fractured zone, the production will not be optimal, and the differences between the numbers of oil barrels could be immense,” Rubio explains. Geoprocesados has assembled a multi-disciplinary team with experience in naturally fractured carbonates, which is able to significantly reduce uncertainty in the characterization of fractured deposits, and assist petroleum companies in creating wells in productive zones.
Rubio says Chicontepec is a challenging location to develop due to its complex reservoirs, but it is full of potential for the industry to exploit if the characterization is properly completed. “The geological composition of Chicontepec, which is a Tertiary formation, and unconventional resources, which are deeper, could be highly profitable if the portfolios are balanced correctly. If companies focus on implementing local technologies in the upcoming onshore rounds, the benefits would be greater,” Rubio suggests. In addition, new salt formations and the possibility of discovering pre-salt formations will change the game. Mexico has an abundant amount of salt in its geology, with locations such as the Salina del Istmo Basin, and Rubio argues that salt increases the complexity of any geological formation so it is important to possess knowledge on how to work on these formations and of the different process applications.
Even though Geoprocesados has adapted to the low oil price, the company did not change its strategy due to the reduction of PEMEX’s budget. Rubio claims the geological and geophysical studies his company carries out belong to the industry segment that has been less directly impacted by the budget cuts. “The types of studies we conduct tend to have medium- to long-term results, especially when it comes to exploration. PEMEX is cutting down on operations and services with a short-term impact and when it comes to exploration, the NOC tends to view everything from a longterm perspective.” According to Rubio, Geoprocesados’ structure is based on ways in which it can provide PEMEX, its main client, with the most effective service. He says the entrance of new operators provides opportunities for his company, but he will only offer services in those projects where Geoprocesados can provide an added value. Rubio’s team molds its services to fit the clients’ geological strategy and helps them adapt to the Mexican terrain. The company has already worked alongside players that participated in the shallow water round, and is looking forward to continuing working with new clients.
Maintaining its positioning at the technological forefront is crucial for a geoscience studies company, and one of the best ways to achieve this is through partnerships. Geoprocesados collaborates with Paradigm, a company whose core business is developing software. Conversely, Geoprocesados is a full service provider, which strengthens the partnership on both sides of the spectrum. Rubio explains that Paradigm invests money in the development of new technologies, whilst Geoprocesados invests in training team members and optimizing processes. Geoprocesados also has a meaningful association with TEEC, a German technology developer, which gives Rubio’s company an idea of the European trend in geological and geophysical technologies, as the Mexican sector is significantly influenced by North American technology. Geoprocesados’ wide-azimuth services incorporate technologies from TEEC and Paradigm, something that few companies can do due to the complexity entailed in using these solutions. “We are constantly integrating innovative technologies into our depth imaging algorithms, new topographies, and tools for the construction of speed models,” Rubio comments.