NOV: Adapting to the Era of Decarbonization
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NOV: Adapting to the Era of Decarbonization

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Rafael Rivera - National Oilwell Varco (NOV)
Mexico Country Manager


Q: How has NOV’s international client and project portfolio been reshaped by the COVID-19 pandemic? 

A: The oil and gas industry at an international level has been severely impacted by the ongoing global pandemic, while also enduring extreme weather events as it faces the worst economic downturn in over 80 years. In light of contracted demand, our company, which specializes in rig technology manufacturing, has been obligated to further diversify its portfolio and has even started exploring renewable energy technologies, namely offshore wind turbines. We are also focusing on other renewable technologies such as geothermal, hydrogen capture, and solar. We have already completed a wind turbine project in Norway and are now working to formalize several pipeline projects in the Gulf of Mexico with US companies. Beyond this, although we are specialized in oil rig technologies, we are now exploring carbon emission reduction technologies as world governments ramp up their decarbonization efforts. To meet global demand, we are partnering with other companies to work on the development of such technologies. 

Q: Approaching the end of the pandemic, has NOV increased its business?

A: It depends on the region. Countries with the resources and capacity to vaccinate its population have seen a resurgence in their economic activities, whereas countries that lack these capabilities are still enduring the economic recession brought on by the pandemic. With this in mind, our employees have directed their efforts to those economic regions that are performing positively. As a result, we have performed considerably better in comparison to the first quarter of this year. So yes, NOV is starting to pick up more clients and projects with the added benefit of having included new growth opportunities in clean and decarbonization technologies.  

Q: At the 2021 OTC, what technology or service did you debut?

A: Even though NOV did not have a booth presence, we have been presenting in several conferences regarding the offshore wind turbine energy technologies because we are entering the renewable energy market. In oil and gas-related technologies, where most of our current market is concentrated, we focused on refining the efficiency and reducing the cost of our oil rig technologies. These efforts are being pursued in partnership with companies in Europe, the US and the Middle East. 

Q: What segment of your services and product portfolio has received the most attention from your clients and partners in the oil and gas industry?

A: For the past four years in Mexico, we have been working on the development of our well technologies with our other five business units in the country. As IOCs that signed contracts under the 2014 Energy Reform come to Mexico, our main challenge has been bringing our supporting global partners to Mexico as well. We have a vested interest in maintaining these relationships as they represent not only a great opportunity for us but for the Mexican oil and gas sector as well. Moreover, we continue to be the main providers of technology and service solutions in various areas, so I would not say we have a single concentration among our clients. It is an open market for us. 

Q: What opportunities do you see in the growing deepwater activities in Mexico?

A: There is a lot of potential in this sector given that many ongoing projects are still in the exploration phase. We anticipate the emergence of a venture market where we will be able to import technologies from comparable projects that are already in the production phase from the US side. As long as exploration continues and IOCs and drilling contractors remain committed to their contracts, we expect to see this sector take off in the next seven to 10 years. Meanwhile, the Mexican government is focused on shallow water projects, which tend to move at much faster pace and provide more immediate returns. The IOCs involved in these projects are already outputting production. 

Q: What role can NOV’s artificial lift solutions (ALS) play in boosting mature field production?

A: Fundamental to increasing mature field production is increased investment from both the federal government and IOCs. What we have noticed is that investment in this sector is not flowing at the same rate as shallow or deepwater projects. We have a wide ALS portfolio in Texas in mature field and shale projects where we have applied ALS technologies and services, which we could easily import to make mature production more efficient. Since these applications are absent in the Mexican market, we see a great opportunity in this sector as well. 

Q: What is your participation in new exploration development efforts and how do your technologies help companies decrease costs and reach oil first?

A: The drilling motors and other drilling technologies we are developing will be electrically linked from the bottom of the well head up to the top of the cabin. Our “surface automation” technologies, such as NOVOS and Kaizen, have recently gained attention as they are field proven technologies that enable more efficient and consistent drilling of wells, reducing the overall well construction costs.  We are also working on expanding the offering to include “downhole automation” which involves high speed telemetry with real-time measurements along the wellbore, which we believe will provide further value to our customers. While online, this technology records and communicates real-time data with operators, thereby allowing them to avoid drilling issues and adapt operations according to changing bedrock. Nevertheless, the development of this technology is still ongoing and before we can debut this product, we have to finalize the software. We are working with PEMEX and other IOCs to refine it. So far, based on the observed results, we believe this could become an invaluable asset to future production procedures. 

Additionally, TracID’s field-proven RFID tags and proprietary software solutions for drill string components, captures detailed asset history from manufacture to end of useful life, enabling customers to accurately and efficiently monitor the condition of their fleet, reducing costs and preventing downhole failures.


NOV Inc (formerly National Oilwell Varco) based in Texas, is a leading provider of equipment and components used in oil and gas drilling, production operations, oilfield services and supply chain integration services to the upstream oil and gas industry.

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