TBY talks to Vicente González Dávila, Director General of Geo Estratos, on its research institute, new technologies, and projects in Mexico and around the world.
TBY What main factors have driven the development of your solutions portfolio?
VICENTE GONZÁLEZ DÁVILA Principally it has been the market and its trends. When we started, the Mexican market needed diagnosis and environmental controls for exploration-related operations. Over time the market has changed drastically as well as its need for technology, and this has played a key role; the specialization of services offered in the marketplace has been adapted to this new demand. For this reason, we decided to turn Geo Estratos into a company dedicated to the development of new technologies, applications, and solutions to improve the productivity of oil exploration and production (E&P) companies through strategic investments in technology, training our staff, and working hard. We are now able to offer cost-
effective and high-technology solutions and are obtaining increasing market shares in Latin America and the Middle East.
How would you describe your current participation in PEMEX’s projects?
We are currently developing studies and research projects related to PEMEX’s oil exploration activities. We are also providing it with technological solutions to control environmental externalities, improving production volumes as well as their quality, guaranteeing the elimination of oil spills and pipeline leakages, and ensuring the restoration of soil.
What main reasons led Geo Estratos to create its own research institute for training and technological development?
Over our history of offering services, we have sometimes needed to import technologies from abroad because the market didn’t offer adequate solutions. This situation affected the cost of services as well as restricted the technology we had on offer, and so we decided to develop a new R&D center to concentrate all our efforts on developing new, high-level technology to offer to our clients. We are now a pioneer in oil and gas technology development in Mexico, using Mexican technology developed directly by us that is cost-effective and widely available.
What main new technologies is Geo Estratos bringing to Mexico?
Just to give you an example, we design and develop new technology that can improve the productivity of oil fields by injecting them with special bio-reducing viscosity materials that we create. This kind of operation can improve the production of fields by about 20% per day. Our research center is constantly working on improving the technologies we sell at present and to develop new ones that can significantly improve oil and gas field operations. R&D is one of the most important recipients of our investment practices, and we have developed a huge variety of technological solutions.
What main operations is Geo Estratos performing in Colombia and Oman?
Over the last few years we have established an increasing presence in these markets, and we have created bio-reducing
viscosity plants in those countries, which have increased our participation in the E&P segments dramatically. In Colombia we partner with a Canadian company called Regent Energy in order to increase our market share. In this Latin American market, new and interesting projects are taking place due to the oil and gas reforms passed in 2010, and we are offering our solutions. In Oman we have just finished a processing plant commissioned in 2010 and we are working to achieve stronger penetration in this market, offering a wide range of services and patented products in a region where the opportunities are huge in the oil and gas sector.
What is the most promising international market?
I think that Colombia is the environment where we have the most promising opportunities. The government is business friendly and domestic regulation in the oil and gas sector allows the participation of international companies in this sector, offering good opportunities for companies like ours.
How have technological advances changed the relative attractiveness and economic feasibility of the most important fields in Mexico?
I think that technology development is one of the most important challenges for Mexico’s oil and gas sector. PEMEX is working with different technological partners, and a law introduced in 2008 for oil and gas services contractors has helped competition in the market and consequently contributed to the improvement of services offered in general.
The problem is that deepwater operations need high levels of technology as well as serious amounts of investment. PEMEX’s plan in this segment is strong, but I think that it could be improved through other oil and gas-related laws that would allow fresh investment to be raised in this area as well as the participation of new players with state-of-the-art technology and know-how. Deepwater production should be improved through strategic technology investments.
What main operations have been implemented in the Ebano-Páuco-Cacalilao complex in order to increase the production from 5,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) to 8,200 bbl/d?
Initially we supported PEMEX to understand the mechanism of the reservoir’s fluid movements through different studies, and that diagnosis helped to reclassify the previous resource estimation—tripling it, in fact. Production areas have since been extended in terms of dimension. Secondly, we have helped, through the injection of special liquid material solutions developed in-company, to increase production at
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