There Is High Demand for Clean Fossil Fuels: IMPBy Sofía Garduño | Thu, 07/28/2022 - 10:27
Q: The main objective of the AMLO administration is energy self-sufficiency by 2024. What strategy have you implemented to reach this goal?
A: The Mexican Institute of Petroleum (IMP) has an integral plan aligned to nine of Pemex's business plan strategic objectives. These efforts aim to achieve self-sufficiency in fuel production to satisfy demand, which has been increasing since the pandemic. Despite the fact that clean energies will displace fossil fuels in the future, currently we are witnessing rising demand for hydrocarbons and oil products, particularly in natural gas through the energy transition.
We are focusing on supplying technological solutions to support PEMEX on the incorporation of reserves, on reducing risks in exploratory drilling and to maintain and increase production. In downstream activities we participate with PEMEX in its plans to expand refining capacity, which has been boosted by the rehabilitation of the six refineries in the system, the purchase of the Deer Park refinery and the construction of the Olmeca refinery, the latter has been a priority task to the IMP since the project planning phase.
Q: What are the implications of finishing the Olmeca refinery on time under the management of SENER?
A: This shows that Mexico has the technological as well as coordination and execution capabilities to manage a project of this level. This work has been the result of a team effort led by SENER. It also shows the in-house vast expertise of PEMEX’s Industrial Transformation projects area, and the IMP capabilities in technology for refining processes. The equipment is installed and the project is in an integration stage that will be followed by testing of all systems in the whole complex.
It is also important to highlight that IMP is the only Mexican technology licensor, along with other international world class companies.
Q: What are some of the latest technologies that IMP has been working with?
A: The activities of IMP impact the entire value chain. For example, we are developing and applying computer platforms to integrate geomechanical data on seismic process to determine the parameters to improve drilling and production activities. Regarding the accelerated development of fields, we have new integrated technologies using petrophysical evaluations, rock physics on carbonates lithologies supported by seismic data to allow optimal placement for drilling and production wells. We also have new technologies for the evaluation and prediction of production profiles and reservoir management, applying reservoir data and stochastic simulations.
Regarding production assurance, we develop technology that allow us to determine the conditions in which asphaltene precipitation and inorganic deposits may occur. We also have tools to predict the behavior of fluids. We have technology that allows us to anticipate severe accidents through damage forecasting and reliability analysis to protect the integrity and reliability of offshore platforms.
We have also been successful applying solutions for the separation of water and desalting, which is a challenge with heavy crude. In underground gas storage, we have a platform to analyze depleted fields and establish production scenarios. Regarding the industrial transformation, we are developing innovative catalysts and aim to build a Mexican plant to produce them. We have also implemented specialized simulation platforms for personnel training. All these efforts are adding value to our operations.
Q: What technologies has the institute implemented to increase safety and decrease environmental impact?
A: Throughout the energy transition, we have focused on taking care of the environment while improving the efficiency of the use of natural resources. Our technologies aim to modify how fluids are extracted, using products that are environmentally friendly. We are also developing technological solutions for carbon capture and to reinforce measurement and methane emissions reductions. Regarding fuel production, we are focused on the development of processes and catalysts to produce green fuels.
Q: A recent report indicated that Mexico is running out of 3P reserves. How is Mexico dealing with this scenario, which could hamper the goal of energy self-sufficiency?
A: PEMEX is aggressively developing new fields and has identified several, including Ixachi, Quesqui and Tupilco, currently under operation. It is also undertaking several activities to support production in the Mexican southeast.
We must focus on having more reliable models and predictive platforms to identify drilling areas. PEMEX is making several efforts in this direction and the IMP is integrating various tools for geomechanical and seismic modeling to reduce risk and increase the success of exploratory drilling. We can also rely on our highly advanced experimental infrastructure centers, such as the exploration and production technology center in Boca del Rio, Veracruz.
Q: What should be the sector’s main priorities?
A: The industry has to be in constant renewal. Innovation based on research and applied technological development will be essential in the coming years, boosting innovation to extract natural resources in a more effective, economical and sustainable way.
The Mexican Institute of Petroleum (IMP) creates competitive and valuable solutions for the national and international oil industry and provides technological services and products for engineering, exploration and production.