STRONG CONNECTIONS

Colombia 2020 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

Expro employs over 40 years of global experience in the field, along with the technology and capabilities to deliver whatever is needed to support exploration in Colombia.

Andre Conceicao
BIOGRAPHY

Andre Conceicao holds a degree as an electro mechanic engineer from CIEP of Rio de Janeiro. He served in leadership positions for Schlumberger in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and Colombia before joining Expro in 2016.

How do you assess the evolution and success of Expro's projects over its four years of experience providing services, particularly to offshore exploration, in the Colombian market?
Expro is a major company that has been growing via more acquisitions over the last four years. We are looking to open new business lines in different countries. Colombia has always been a target market for Expro because the company management knows there are many opportunities here, even in offshore. However, offshore is just starting out in Colombia, and we are looking at participating in these projects. We are being proactive and aligning ourselves with Ecopetrol to bring new technologies and become a major part of helping it determine the best way to drill new wells and deliver the final product. Colombia's offshore is more focused on gas production, and the country needs to look for more fields to continue growing and increase its gas production. However, we are having some issues in developing the offshore. The main problem in Colombia today is the licensing regime; currently, it is not easy to get a license because the plan for offshore is for 2021, so it will take more time before licenses are issued.

What collaborations has Expro been working on in Colombia with Ecopetrol and private companies, and what opportunities do you see for your services going forward?
Colombia is a different market, and if operators want to acquire a field, there are different processes compared to most countries. Colombia's oil production is increasing again, which is good because it shows the oil industry is active. However, it has been somewhat quiet to date because of low oil prices and companies waiting for a solid economic outlook before they invest. 2020 will be the year for companies to invest more. They are currently preparing for the processes they will have to go through in 2020-2021. For 2021, the plan is to invest almost USD10 million in Colombia. In terms of what is happening today, Ecopetrol has specific partnerships for Colombia's main fields with companies like Frontera Energy and Hocol, which is the right arm of Ecopetrol. Ecopetrol has also acquired 100% of its biggest partner, Acción. Furthermore, Ecopetrol has strong connections with Perenco, Frontera Energy, and Parex Resources. The other exploration company that is growing strongly in Colombia is Geopark. These are the clients we need to focus on.

How has Expro continued to deliver services in its main areas of expertise such as sub-sea development, product optimization, and well abandonment?
Colombia is looking to increase its production. However, this is not easy to do here, and Ecopetrol needs a great deal of help because it has specific fields it receives all its production from. It needs to increase this capacity, so production is still the main market for Expro. However, Expro is strong in offshore where we can deploy our subsea technology and as we know offshore is the future in terms of gas, Expro is really focused on this side of the market. Unconventional wells are another area of opportunity for Expro to show clients that we are here and have the capabilities to perform all jobs.

How is Expro demonstrating it has the knowledge to tackle unconventional wells once these projects kick off in Colombia?
The process is not easy in Colombia. For example, for a new company that wants to enter the Colombian market, it is difficult to gain contracts because all local companies ask about its experience in Colombia. Expro seeks to show potential clients its background and expertise. We have over 40 years' global experience in the field and the technology and capabilities to deliver whatever is needed to support exploration in Colombia. The most important point is to stay in contact with one's clients. You need to be there at the right place and the right time.