Technology Lead to Efficiency in Difficult TimesWed, 01/20/2016 - 13:13
Some companies have made a name for themselves in an industry that was once synonymous with PEMEX, such as the technology expert Tekna Services. The company has been of great help to the Mexican NOC, evidenced by the way it has helped increase production and reduce costs in Cinco Presidentes and Samaria Luna. “In these fields, Tekna has worked on wells where the oil was not flowing properly, so we treated it with pressurized gas, leading to significant results of a 150% production increase in one of the wells. In another well, we reduced water production from 70% to 30%,” shares César Ruiz, the company’s General Manager. Tekna is planning some wells for Samaria Luna and improving others in Cinco Presidentes, where it is only addressing the construction of the well without intervening the actual reservoir. Ruiz says his team is currently working on a model to improve flow channels without resorting to hydraulic fracturing in this field. “The opportunity scope is huge, as the traditional approach could cost up to US$130,000 per well but the treatment we are working on costs US$10,000 per well. Clients would save huge amounts that can be used to invest in other areas, and that is one of the benefits Tekna offers.”
The company is working on a similar scheme for Poza Rica, where it will carry out artificial lifting without installing additional equipment. Besides the oil type, Ruiz says the main problem in Poza Rica is equipment theft. With this in mind, Tekna is proposing an artificial lifting system that is inserted in the bottom of the well and has minimal equipment at the surface.
Tekna is also partnering with a company form the Czech Republic that operated in Russia, where there are fields similar to Chicontepec. Ruiz claims this company has a technology that works in a similar way to fracking, but it injects two types of fluids, a solvent and an active ingredient. Once the fluids are mixed in the reservoir, an exothermal reaction follows and creates a type of explosion that moves through the channels and cracks the formation. This technology yields efficiency levels similar to those of fracking, but helps users save up to 70% in costs. “Our approach will be to look for companies working in Poza Rica, find wells that could use this technology, and analyze the results. If these are similar to the results that this technology has produced for Lukoil in Russia, it will provide a great alternative to fracking in Poza Rica,” comments Ruiz.
Technology is at the core of Tekna’s proposal, so the company is also financing a project carried out by students based in Ohio, who are developing a microwave system to heat oil in the reservoir. “A magnetron generates a wave that makes micro antennas located at the bottom of the well heat up to 600°C. This heats the pipes and the reservoir, improving flow without altering the oil’s physical characteristics,” explains Ruiz. Now the developers have to adjust the mechanisms to the temperatures found at the bottom of the well. Tekna is financing the development of this technology and will own the patent. In addition, the company is also financing a mechanical pumping mechanism that does not have components on the surface. Ruiz says his company will soon visit IPN to negotiate a collaboration agreement in which the institute will develop technology financed by the company. The students that work on these developments could become part of the Tekna team.
In a time of economic constraints, investing in technology seems like a risky task. Ruiz claims his company has a considerable financial support that allows it to continue helping clients reduce costs and improve production. In addition, Tekna is diversifying by looking into renewable energy sources, the mining industry, revamping refineries, and even building a port dedicated to hydrocarbon commercialization. “Tekna will look for opportunities not just where we can implement new technologies, but also where we can adapt to the new business models that we see in the international energy market,” Ruiz asserts.