Héctor Manosalva
Vice President of Development and Production
Ecopetrol
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View from the Top

A Latin American Leader in the Hydrocarbons Industry

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 09:43

Q: As a Colombian oil and gas producer, how would you evaluate Ecopetrol’s progress in the Mexican industry?

A: Ecopetrol and the Colombian government have long worked and shared experiences with PEMEX and the Mexican government, even before the Energy Reform’s approval. We shared the experience Colombia went through when Ecopetrol turned into a joint-stock company in 2003 and the benefits this move implied for both parties. These conversations allowed close follow-up on the Mexican reform’s design, application and its implementation process. It is clear that Mexico is a country full of opportunity and possibilities based on its extensive hydrocarbons resources and how it has progressed in its incentive offer to foreign companies. The advancement of the licensing rounds has further balanced market conditions and improved the value for companies investing in the country, creating a positive environment for the burgeoning Mexican oil and gas industry.

Q: What are the opportunities for the development of the shallow-water blocks awarded to Ecopetrol in Round 2.1?

A: These two blocks have an exploration interest for us due to our knowledge. It is crucial for us to develop an exploration program and that is the strategy we have embraced for these two fields. Over time we have developed a good skillset on how to develop fields through competences and capabilities that can bring valuable experience. This is what we will provide to the market in the upcoming licensing rounds. PEMEX has major strengths and the expertise we bring can foster a strong relationship between both companies with both eyes set on the future. We strive to find synergies with PEMEX and share mutual experiences for the wellbeing of the Mexican hydrocarbons industry.

Q: What is your view of the licensing rounds so far and how will Ecopetrol participate in future rounds? 

A: Some of the proposals we have structured have not been completely competitive for the requirements established in the licensing rounds. However, we are interested in continuing to participate in the different rounds to come. We are studying the opportunities for Round 3.3 along with a group of experts and technicians so we can build an offer that is sufficiently attractive and competitive.

Q: What are some of the key components of your partnership with PEMEX?

A: Before the Energy Reform was approved, we assessed investment opportunities for PEMEX in Colombia for offshore projects, where the company has a great deal of experience. This provided the chance for our E&P division to see opportunities in the industry. As the industry has advanced, we have finalized numerous cooperation agreements such as that in which Ecopetrol advises PEMEX on how to implement a strategy for the reduction of fuel theft in Mexican pipelines. We implemented this strategy in Colombia in 2007 when we were experiencing losses that averaged 10,000b/d and we were able to reduce it to less than 50b/d due to the technological developments this strategy entails.

Q: How will Ecopetrol continue expanding its presence in the Mexican market?

A: One of the largest opportunities for Ecopetrol to grow in Mexico is field development, as we have the knowledge and competences in that area. The implementation of secondary and tertiary recovery techniques has also bolstered the high reserve levels that we need to remain competitive. We have implemented this strategy in a series of projects and environments, be it offshore, onshore, jungle, forest, crude, gas, heavy or light oil. Our experience acquired in different fields could be applied to the Mexican case. Here, we see a great opportunity to work with the NOC and to put our knowledge and capabilities on the table. We have defined our 2020+ strategy based on deploying capital and investments in a greater variety of geographies outside of Colombia, and Mexico will play an important role in this plan.