Víctor Escalante
Constructora y Perforadora LATINA
mauricio cuellar General Counsel Constructora y Perforadora LATINA
Mauricio Cuéllar
General Counsel
Constructora y Perforadora LATINA
View from the Top

Historic PEMEX Ally Braves Latest Industry Storm

By Pedro Alcalá | Thu, 06/25/2020 - 09:43

Q: How has Constructora y Perforadora LATINA thrived during times of crises?

VE: For our staff and our leadership committees, the current situation is an opportunity for us to apply once again the lessons of the past in order to adapt to new circumstances. The quicker we can do something as simple as, for example, moving the necessary employees to home office modalities, the quicker we can begin to reap the benefits of a new situation in the short, medium and long terms. Making this process of adaptation as quick as possible leaves the organization with new learning patterns. Before all of this began, Constructora y Perforadora LATINA was already executing a new strategy of diversifying its portfolio of products and services offered to PEMEX, and the fact that we were already adapting to that new strategy when all of this began happening meant that we were prepared for it.

Q: What is the current distribution of your fleet?

VE: We already had two offshore jack-ups and one modular drilling rig working on long-term contracts for PEMEX. These rigs became a reference for PEMEX and for the rest of the market when they achieved 100 percent efficiency and great operability. This has allowed us to offer PEMEX a more integrated service that went beyond the leasing of the platform and provided them with assistance to achieve better processes in the drilling of its wells. As a result, we now have three more offshore jack-ups involved with PEMEX on a comprehensive drilling project working at the highest level of efficiency. All of this has greatly supported the offshore segment of our business. In the onshore segment, we continue to be involved in a long-term, 35-year project that we signed many years ago.

MC: Understanding PEMEX, and having an open communication, plus the quality of services we have provided for them are all factors that have placed Constructora y Perforadora LATINA in a privileged position in the market despite ongoing crises. Today, we continue to have success in many projects. Of all companies working on PEMEX offshore clusters, we were rated the most efficient company in March 2020.

Q: What were your procurement and development strategies?

VE: The main strategy we applied was combining the integration of our workforce, our processes and our commitments within our organization. The biggest challenge so far has been keeping our procurement processes operational in the middle of a market impacted by COVID-19. The market is now lacking cash flow, which translates into financial uncertainty.

MC: An interesting and unique phenomenon that I have observed as these PEMEX cluster projects have continued is the execution of these massive operational meetings where our top directors meet with PEMEX directors, including 25 to 40 international suppliers and service providers to discuss services such as post-mortems and mudlogging, among others. In 120 minutes, we can define objectives, actions to be taken, compliance levels, expectations, schedules and delivery processes. This is a tremendous and ambitious act of integration and coordination that has yielded very positive and productive results.

VE: I have participated in these meetings, and what impressed me is that none of them have difficulties with shaping their schedules around the logistics of this meeting, even if it begins at 6:15 a.m. Organizational meetings like these are what the industry needs more of to succeed.  

Q: How is the growth of private operators influencing your strategy?

MC: A couple of years ago, we proposed to PEMEX that we could become a turn-key operator for them that could provide the resources and faculties to help make their activities more efficient. The entry of private operators into the market has raised the stakes in terms of efficiency. Meanwhile, despite being a great productive state enterprise, the NOC has encountered issues with developing offshore logistical efficiency. We needed to help them become faster and more efficient to become as competitive as possible in this industry. We needed to intervene in their whole value chain as a private company. This has generated savings for PEMEX and, ultimately, for Mexico as well.   

VE: Our portfolio is 125 percent PEMEX. However, we understand the market is changing and we are changing along with it. On the onshore project I mentioned earlier, we hold a contract to act as a private operator in the Pitepec field of the Chicontepec area. As I said, this project has given us a unique perspective into the way in which operators have to balance short-term circumstances, such as the current price of oil, with their medium to long-term development plans.


Constructora y Perforadora LATINA began drilling operations as a Mexican company in 1947. Since then, it has continued these activities with PEMEX while expanding into Central and South American markets and diversifying its portfolio into geothermal drilling.

Pedro Alcalá Pedro Alcalá Senior Journalist & Industry Analyst