Juan Manuel Delgado
Director General
Schlumberger Mexico
View from the Top

Role of Service Providers in Production Growth

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 15:07

Q: What will be the role of integrated service providers such as Schlumberger in helping Pemex to minimize time to first oil and manage costs while optimizing production to meet Pemex’s objectives?

A: We are here in Mexico with a full portfolio of services to be provided to Pemex. So far, Pemex has given no indication that it would like the current relationship to change; the company is not looking for a partner in the development stage. As a service provider, we will simply have to wait and see what happens, and adapt accordingly. It is Pemex’s decision when to use the array of technologies that are available in Mexico.

Schlumberger might partner with Pemex, cooperate with other contractors, or just provide services. At the end of the day, Pemex sets the rules of the game and Schlumberger and other service providers decide to play or not.

Q: What are the most successful technologies that Schlumberger has introduced at Mexico’s mature fields to stimulate production?

A: Schlumberger usually provides a set of discrete services to Pemex as part of their larger projects. At mature fields we have contributed a lot in terms of reservoir knowledge; understanding what needs to be done to increase production. As projects have reached the drilling stage, we have brought our global expertise and reduced the number of days it took to drill a well at Burgos from 30 days to seven, and at Chicontepec from 24 days down to four or five days. These contributions were driven by big project management changes that we implemented. For instance, the design of a drilling bit might boost better efficiency at Chicontepec, but that could not happen without improving the hydraulic system.

The biggest contribution we are making to such projects is not a specific silver bullet technology, but rather our project management expertise that has come from handling drilling projects around the world. Project management adds the value to all individual processes while creating greater efficiency and setting new standards. This continuous benchmark-setting practice has made us leaders in drilling operations. Pemex had not yet integrated such practices at its mature fields until recently, as they now allow service companies to implement their processes to improve production.

Q: What are the main technologies that Schlumberger is working on today at the global level that could be introduced in Mexico in the coming years and would make a real difference in the industry?

A: Seismic is a key area. We are developing new ways to measure in a much faster, efficient, and accurate way. We are also improving seismic technologies, resulting in innovations such as the UniQ Land Seismic Acquisition System; a highly flexible point-receiver system that delivers data acquisition ranging from fast-moving, low-density exploration surveys to wide-azimuth, broad bandwidth, point-source/point-receiver reservoir surveys. We are also working a lot on reservoir characterization and the measurement of petrophysical data to provide better data interpretation and facilitate better decision making regarding field development. Therefore, our core business is data acquisition, interpretation, and software development.

Q: What are the ambitions for Panuco, and how will the cooperation between Schlumberger and Petrofac work?

A: The ISCs are new for both us and for Pemex. There is a new contractual framework which means that once the development plan has been agreed upon by both parties, we will be reimbursed 75% of the cost. In addition, parties will receive a fee per barrel for production increases. The elements for this to happen are currently being implemented by Pemex. We cannot start this project without both parties agreeing beforehand on how much the field is currently producing. Previously, all the fields in the region had their production mingled and counted together; however, now the infrastructure is being put in place to monitor production separately for Ebano, Panuco, and Altamira. This is why we have not yet started operations even though we have agreed on the actions that we will carry out there. We can start drilling and conducting well workovers, and once we have a complete evaluation we will be much more aggressive in field development. If what we believe is true, the level of activity in Panuco is going to be very interesting in the following years.