THE RECOVERY FACTOR

Ecuador 2012 | ENERGY & MINING | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Carlos Sarmiento, General Manager at Schlumberger Surenco SA, on what the company brings to Ecuador's oil and gas industry and its developments in the wider region.

Carlos Sarmiento
BIOGRAPHY
Carlos Sarmiento joined Schlumberger in March 2003 as a Training Development and Staffing Manager for North and South America. In June 2005, he was promoted to Operations Manager Wireline Latin America South and in February 2007 he entered the position of HR Manager West Venezuela. Prior to joining the company, Sarmiento received an MBA in Business from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.

What are the current opportunities for companies such as Schlumberger in Ecuador?

The oil and gas industry in Ecuador is facing many challenges, especially in terms of the characterization and development of mature fields. We believe that the innovative technology, services, and expertise that Schlumberger can provide makes a difference and is needed.

What is the relevance of Ecuador for Schlumberger in Latin America?

Currently, Schlumberger is operating in more than 12 countries in Latin America. Working in these countries creates synergies and similarities in the ways we work, especially in relation to the reservoir types and operational characteristics. These synergies and similarities foster an exchange of technical knowledge and expertise from different regions. The experience Schlumberger has in Colombia and Mexico from the development of mature fields is being transferred to Ecuador. We have developed fantastic expertise in deepwater operations in Brazil, which can be introduced to new markets in the region and globally. From another aspect, Ecuador's reservoirs present a wide variety of opportunities for technology and technical development, aimed to maximize production in mature fields, maintain efficiency, and increase the recovery factor. Having said that, this is definitely a market that cannot be ignored; it has a great potential for continued development and growth.

What are Schlumberger's future investments in mature fields and key aspects of the contract signed with the government?

Schlumberger is the world's leading oilfield service company, and provides technology and services to support key or fundamental processes in the exploration and production (E&P) industry. Wherever Schlumberger operates, we behave as a leader in oilfield services. Our long presence and commitment to Ecuador's oil industry continues as we invest in technological applications, field studies, and the development of processes, and these are all relevant to our ambitions in the country. In other words, Schlumberger is investing in technology and will continue to support the country over the years to come. Our new contract is a fundamental element of this goal.

What amount of investment has Schlumberger made in mature fields?

Schlumberger has a committed investment of $1.2 billion. This amount may increase depending on the results of the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects that we will pilot first. We will evaluate the results before deciding on the final investment amount.

What is Schlumberger's role in increasing the visibility of Ecuador's oil and gas industry in the petro-technical community worldwide?

We raise awareness by bringing in experts, organizing workshops, hosting conferences, and increasing the amount of reports created in the country that will be presented in different conferences or workshops worldwide.

How do you attract professionals to Ecuador?

Schlumberger has always valued its human resources. Our company believes in training and promoting from within. We recruit locally, and offer all the necessary training to develop our employees to their full capabilities. We will continue this strategy in Ecuador, and increase the amount of local talent at our company. We have specific programs and centers where we train people in different areas of the industry and in the various services we provide. We also carry out training courses abroad, where people from different areas and backgrounds educate our employees. Attracting the right professionals is a challenge, and Schlumberger aims to keep recruiting the best talent from local universities.

What is your outlook for the company in Ecuador?

The oil and gas industry is entering a new era, in which there are more difficulties and increased complexity in finding and developing new reserves, as well as maintaining production at existing sites. Extra effort is required to overcome these challenges. We believe that the company that can best help customers, diminish risk, and carry out projects with maximum efficiency is the one that will ultimately succeed. This will be the focus of oilfield service companies in the future. At Schlumberger, we can provide a complete offering based on knowledge and technical innovation, and we have six R&D and 65 Technology and Product Centers across the globe. The company continues to work on innovation and technology, providing value to the market. By applying our scientific data and technical ability to our regional operations, we believe that we can offset many of the challenges that customers face.