Hermes Aguirre
Mexico Country Vice President
Halliburton
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View from the Top

Potential for Upstream Growth Remains Strong

By Pedro Alcalá | Wed, 06/02/2021 - 08:32

Q: What international industry trends have emerged that you believe can be applied in Mexico?

A: One of the fundamental parameters by which we can judge the state of the industry is the rate of the global economic recovery from the pandemic. Obviously, global COVID policies (such as travel restrictions) had an enormous impact on oil and gas operations. But one recovery indicator for our industry is consumption and those rates are beginning to climb. Thankfully, it seems that we are on our way to recovery and economic cooperation is helping that happen as quickly as possible. 

Halliburton has a long history working in Mexico, over 80 years. During this time, we’ve seen global trends unfold on the national stage. The government’s investments, financial status and national oil asset portfolio continue to be the defining trend in Mexico. Thanks to this investment, a degree of activity continued throughout 2020 despite difficult market conditions. For Halliburton, we successfully managed this difficult time by implementing protocols to keep workers safe while maintaining operational continuity. Fortunately, the ongoing fall of production levels eventually stabilized and reverted. 

Halliburton was there with the NOC throughout this period, supporting its activities in a number of ways. Despite delayed projects and activities, we continued to support all the national and international operators in the Mexican oil and gas industry.

Lastly, I believe 2020 presented us with an opportunity to give greater focus to areas where we can improve, like reducing our carbon footprint. We are executing on our strategic priority to advance cleaner, affordable energy and to support sustainable energy advancements using innovation and technology to reduce the environmental impact of producing oil and gas. Halliburton Labs is our long-term investment in cleaner, affordable energy and gives early-stage technology companies in the clean energy space access to our world-class facilities, technical and scientific expertise, and business network. It is a collaborative environment where entrepreneurs, academics, investors, and industrial labs come together to advance cleaner, affordable energy.

Over the near and medium term, we are setting science-based targets to achieve a 40 percent reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse emissions by 2035 from the 2018 baseline. This is consistent with our goal to reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact of our operations. 

Q: What elements of the NOC’s development priorities represent the most significant areas of interest for Halliburton?

A: Exploration is an area of significant interest for us that we continue to pursue. Lately there has been an incorporation of a number of new fields into the market portfolio, and so, these need to transition from an exploration phase to a field development phase. Significant effort and investment are still needed in each of those fields to complete their transition. These fields require state-of-the-art technologies due to the technical challenges they present, such as  high-pressure, high-temperature wells. Sophisticated yet effective well designs and configurations are crucial. 

At the same time, exploration is a category that we consider more broadly. There are many private operators in Mexico with CNH exploration and development plans that we help who achieve positive results and even unexpected discoveries sometimes. We play a central role in maintaining Mexico's shallow-water fields in the country’s overall production portfolio. 

In the deepwater segment, the NOC is winding down its participation, but we are working closely with all the operators involved in the exploration and development of these assets. We have global and renowned deepwater experience and success that is valuable and necessary for Mexico. In fact, we established an additional operational base in the northern half of the country’s Gulf coast to be closer to our Mexican clients and projects. Deepwater opportunities are substantial in Mexico, even though none of these projects will be capitalized on in the short term.      

Finally, our services are important for the NOC’s latest discoveries, particularly in the initial phases of the exploration process. As I said, these are all complex fields with difficult development paths ahead of them, and we are working closely with the NOC in the design of its development plans. The challenges can include wells of Mesozoic depths with high structural and geological complexity. Our technical teams work with the NOC on these wells, and we define their dimensions so the transition from exploration to development is successful. Defining the technological procurement and application strategy for each well is essential.   

Q: How is your work in mature fields defining your operational portfolio in Mexico?

A: Mature fields are of critical importance in Mexico’s production portfolio. We are heavily involved in the application of new processes and technologies that can optimize production in these fields. Our development approach of mature fields can be highly experimental; we are always looking for alternatives to the traditional methods of mature field exploitation. Digital transformation plays an increasingly important role in this search. Through new technologies, we can incorporate enormous amounts of historical data on these fields into new reservoir models. Digital tools also allow us to acquire new data using innovative exploration techniques and completely accurate evaluations in shorter time frames, which leads to more effective intervention strategies. The more we use digital tools to analyze available data on these fields or even generate additional data, the more we can explore the applicability of the latest technologies to each well and potentially increase overall recovery.

 

Halliburton is one of the world’s largest energy industry service provider with over 40,000 employees worldwide. The company specializes in helping clients maximize production through the life cycle of its assets, from exploration to well completion.

Pedro Alcalá Pedro Alcalá Journalist and Industry Analyst