Efrén Parada
Director General
Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo (IMP)
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Mexico Needs World-Class Technology

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:58

Q. How has the role that the Mexican Petroleum Institute (IMP) plays in technology development for the oil and gas industry changed over time?

A: Since it was recognized as a public research center on August 18th 2000, the IMP received new tasks, like the granting of academic grades, the commercialization of research results and technological development, as well as the signing of strategic and technological alliances. Currently, the IMP’s mission is to transform technology knowledge into value-added services for the oil industry.

Pemex participates together with the IMP in the selection and the follow-up of research and technological development projects, through the Innovation, Research and Solutions Committee (CIIS). Likewise, the IMP director is the sponsor of Pemex’s process for administrating technological assets. The key criterion in terms of the costbenefit analysis of technology development programmes is the alignment of projects with Pemex’s business plan and strategic technological programme. Factors like technological content, the innovation grade, the solidity of the research group and the internal rate of return are taken into account when selecting a project.

The participation of Mexico’s Energy Ministry as sector coordinator is of vital importance. Currently, the IMP participates in the execution of projects financed by the Sener-Conacyt Hydrocarbons and Sustainable Energy funds, in which institutions of the public and private sectors also participate. These funds have helped establish a very important collaboration network in the hydrocarbons sector.

Q: What contribution to the development of human resources in the oil industry does the IMP currently make?

A: With the development of the oil industry’s human capital, in general, the IMP aims to improve the performance of the people in administrative and productive processes, as it contributes to strengthening the energy industry. The professional training aligns and develops itself hand in hand with the necessities of the dierent areas of Pemex.

A key element in this area is without doubt our institutional postgraduate programme that has the recognition of the National Council of Science and Technology. Through this programme, since 2003, the IMP has taken on the challenge of training human resources of the highest academic level, creating a study plan that is avant-garde on a global level, and which oers its students strong training in innovation processes on top of the usual training in science or specialized engineering. During its eight years of operation, four specialists, 51 masters and 36 doctors have graduated successfully. The work of the researchers has started to give back to society through high quality scientific and technological products, which will serve to consolidate their own scientific careers, as well as generate national wealth, which is necessary to maintain the sovereignty and leadership of the oil and petrochemical industries.

For the development of Pemex’s professional sta, the IMP also designs and launches courses and training programmes for primary processes (exploration, production, industrial transformation and commercialization) and for the key support processes, like security, maintenance and distribution.

Q: What are the priorities of the IMP in the next years to strengthen the technological capacities of the Mexican oil industry?

A: The priorities for this year are to increase the research capacity of the IMP and participate in projects of greater magnitude, like shale gas exploration, technological tests for hydrocarbon recovery, and the creation of an oshore technology centre.

More researchers coming from national and foreign centers should be incorporated in the research and technological development eorts in order to strengthen project execution capacity. Cooperation with Pemex will always be indispensable to the work of the IMP. However, this does not prevent collaboration with national or foreign research centres to make the most of the knowledge generated outside of our institution, share the risk or decrease the time in the implementation of results.