What opportunities have you identified in Colombia? How do they differ from the rest of the region?
LEANDRO FORERO Structurally, BHGE presence in Latin America is divided into geographical areas, and I lead the Andean region. Within this region, Colombia is the common center, which means most of our operations and administrative activities are located here. Thus, from a purely operational standpoint, Colombia is key because we run the region from here. In terms of the local market, Colombia is a country like no other in Latin America. We have probably the most diverse portfolio of customers. We have opportunities for companies to invest in Colombia, and we have many large, medium, and small operators. This brings a great many opportunities to those interested in working in the country. Considering the base of potential customers and the technical challenges that the country has, the potential is spectacular. In Colombia, there are things that are difficult to find in other places. Colombia, for example, has a wide variety of geographies, which require the most advanced technology in the world. The country has so many aspects that add to its potential in terms of the types of business that can be done and markets that can be opened. Colombia had one of the fastest responses to the decline in crude oil prices I have seen. So long as the oil price remains around USD45 a barrel, then we will see continuing investment and recovery.
ANDRE VELARDE CHAINSKAIA Schlumberger has been in Colombia for 80 years, throughout the ups and downs of the industry. The oil and gas industry in Colombia is mature, and unfortunately like other parts of the world, it was severely affected by the declining price of oil over the last few years. Colombia's oil and gas industry began its recovery in late 2016 and now offers tremendous opportunities for offshore and onshore exploration, as well as international operations in gas. The industry here is unique because there is a diverse portfolio of operators. Although the overall size of the market is smaller than the US, the types of players are comparable to the US in terms of diversity. Following the merger with Cameron International over a year ago, Schlumberger now offers a comprehensive range of products and services, from exploration through production, and integrated pore-to-pipeline solutions that optimize hydrocarbon recovery to deliver reservoir performance. These products and services, combined with our expertise, allow us to provide our customers with an integrated offering to help drill faster and reduce the cost of each well.
What are your goals in Colombia?
LF For BHGE, there will be many opportunities. Offshore is an area where technology makes a major difference, and we offer some of the most advanced and efficient technology solutions in the world. Every year, we invest hundreds of millions of dollars in inventing new technologies to maintain this position, and this makes a huge difference in the Colombian market. We implement the best technology to get the best results, and we ensure that those projects continue to thrive. The service market, both onshore and offshore, is competitive; however, offshore requires a much greater level of technical competency and that is exactly what we provide to all our partners.
AVC We focus on bringing value to our clients. We are recovering from the challenges the downturn had brought over the last few years. During the downturn, forecasting activities as a manager was a totally different game. Now, we have steady activity allowing better planning, and the industry is buoyant again. We are actively hiring, training, and visiting students on university campuses. In addition, Colombia is also the worldwide support hub for Schlumberger human resources, legal, IT, and procurement and sourcing. Before the downturn, Colombia was probably the most mature oil and gas industry in the region. To rebuild, operators, service companies, and government agencies all need to work together to succeed.