Mike Train
Vernon Murray
Vernon Murray
Latin America President
View from the Top

Safety, Efficiency With a Technological Edge

Mon, 04/01/2019 - 18:28

Q: What trends has Emerson identified in Mexico?

VM: Emerson is seeing heavy investment in upstream. This is directed at the maintenance of offshore infrastructure with a strong emphasis on productivity and safety. Investment in infrastructure maintenance had not happened for many years. The impact of international companies through partnerships in the Gulf of Mexico is beginning to be felt and national companies are realizing that working with international companies is different to working with PEMEX. Not better or worse but different.
There is also a great deal of movement in construction and permitting in midstream. Midstream infrastructure is expanding as companies that were unable to handle hydrocarbons at their terminals prior to the Energy Reform are now becoming involved. This generates automation work for Emerson, focused on safety and supply chain integrity. We have been impressed by the administration’s decision to tackle pipeline theft and believe technology will play a central role.
Downstream activity also is growing with the announcement of Dos Bocas and the renovation of existing refineries. In all, there is a great deal of optimism in the Mexican market.

Q: How does Emerson support the digitalization of Mexico’s oil and gas industry?
MT: Any company can buy a software system but this is only valuable if the work is improved as a result. Emerson is approaching the digitalization of the industry in a deliberate and practical manner, understanding that software is only functional if personnel understand its use. We are approaching clients to sketch out a roadmap for change within their company, advancing step by step to demonstrate the benefits. We have built a consultancy service around this. Offering products only gets the client so far; leveraging technologies so that personnel can spend time more productively is vital.
VM: Mexico is experiencing a period of huge change. The move from a 75-year PEMEX monopoly to competition is a major exercise in change management. Infrastructure, institutions and personnel must all be guided and regulation has had to be redeveloped. This cross-level evolution can be supported by the digitalization that Emerson can help lead.

Q: What can Emerson offer to the Dos Bocas refinery?
MT:  Emerson’s value is in implementation. Our technology and work processes deliver faster schedules or enable co-engineering with different project partners. We are pushing for the use of new technologies to build a modern, competitive refinery.
VM: The IMP will play a large role in the construction of Dos Bocas and they appear to be very open to new technologies. PEMEX and the administration also seem willing to look at the best practices being deployed in automation to improve the functionality of the refinery.

Q: How does Emerson overcome arguments against technology use, such as jobs generation?
MT: Employing enhanced technology does not always reduce the need for personnel, it just allows those personnel to move to different jobs where they can improve their skills. Emerson now has over 20 manufacturing plants in Mexico and other companies want to enter the country to manufacture. I do not believe technology will create a jobs issue in Mexico’s oil and gas industry; with proper infrastructure and the correct cost placements, there will be many new work opportunities.
VM: Emerson has been involved in job creation and education in Mexico for many years. For the last seven years we have worked with the University of Villahermosa to train our automation engineers. They can provide the skills necessary for the current market. We do not believe that automation means fewer jobs, we believe it means different jobs.


Emerson is a leading technology and engineering company. Present in Mexico for over 67 years, it works throughout the oil and gas value chain to deliver improved efficiencies and safety through the application of software and automation processes.