Wallace Pescarini
President Mexico & Central America

Multi-Client Surveys Attract Investments

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 11:16

When the oil price drops as it has done in the past years, the first thing companies cut back on is investment in large E&P projects. However, in Mexico, there is a balance and, while PEMEX was reducing investment in exploration, Schlumberger has made significant investments in welcoming new customers. An example of this can be witnessed in the seismic campaign the company is currently carrying out in the Campeche Bay, which is one of its largest multi-client programs and the biggest in Mexico by far.

“The program is Schlumberger’s biggest seismic campaign in the world. We have a strong belief in the country’s energy sector and the benefits of the reform, and we are already beginning to reap the rewards of this investment,” shares Wallace Pescarini, Schlumberger’s President Mexico & Central America. This project has been undertaken by the company’s exploration arm in order to offset the losses caused by the current situation in PEMEX, and the company managed to sell some of the multi-client data to customers such as Statoil, demonstrating that government policies can lead to success. The project’s scope goes beyond R1-L04, as the collected data will be useful for Schlumberger and its customers over the next five to ten years. Pescarini explains that he is increasingly seeing customers who acquire the data, win a bid, and subsequently require a more in-depth analysis of the allocated fields. In this sense, Schlumberger can work with these customers in reprocessing the data and creating a much more detailed report. He adds that in the current environment, these services are particularly attractive due to their ability to minimize risk.

The project, which began in August 2015, has been divided into five phases, of which 60% had been completed by early 2016. Schlumberger is using its latest seismic technology for the program in Mexico and two fleets comprising 14 vessels. The colossal investments required for this endeavor are solely provided by Schlumberger. “For this level of investment, we must always consider the ROI as a longterm goal. Our decision to make this significant investment is based on research with operators and research with PEMEX, bearing in mind that the NOC could benefit from the data,” comments Pescarini. He says that CNH has provided excellent visibility with its Five Year Plan, and Schlumberger has also conducted its own research in terms of the appetite for investment of international companies. “The project has been well-perceived by CNH because this is exactly the kind of activity the government needs in order to attract new investors. The combination of the transparency and professionalism implemented by CNH, our customers’ trust, and our belief in the country makes the investment extremely attractive for the company.” The project strengthens Schlumberger’s position in the Mexican exploration sector, which now enjoys a prestigious position due to the company’s participation in preparing the data rooms and creating the National Data Repository alongside CNH. Meanwhile, Schlumberger has been a valuable partner in ensuring transparency and data security, meaning that both parties were able to benefit from the collaboration. “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to be involved in the history of the oil and gas industry in Mexico outside of PEMEX operations, and I believe that this is only the beginning for us.”

Some people could believe the multi-client survey might create a conflict of interest, given Schlumberger’s collaboration with CNH. However, Pescarini stressed that CNH has a clear set of guidelines in terms of Schlumberger’s access to certain information, and the information obtained through the multi-client surveys is being provided directly to the Commission, as stipulated in the license. “Ultimately, the scenario is more of a partnership rather than a conflict of interests, as CNH also needs us to make this type of investment in order to attract newcomers to the country,” explains Pescarini. There are clear lines between Schlumberger’s duties helping CNH with transparency and data security, and access to the data that would provide an advantage in the bidding rounds.