ROBERT PÉREZ

Mexico 2020 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

Baker Hughes is focusing on strengthening its share in the upstream sector of Mexico's oil and gas market, in line with new government initiatives.

Robert Pérez
BIOGRAPHY

Robert Pérez graduated from Tulane University with a mechanical engineering degree. Prior to his current role, Pérez was vice president at Pipeline & Gas Processing for BHGE's turbomachinery and process solutions business. During the GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes merger process, he led the integration of the North American business for GE Oil & Gas. He first joined GE in 2011 as GE's Energy Mexico country executive and was later GE's global account managing director. Prior to joining GE, he worked for El Paso Corporation as vice president of marketing and business development for the El Paso Natural Gas and Mojave Pipelines Companies, president of El Paso Mexico Ventures, and country manager for El Paso Argentina. Prior to El Paso, he was with Nations Energy Corporation and Westinghouse Electric Corporation.

What have been your biggest achievements so far in Mexico?
The biggest achievement has been our ability to adapt. I have been in Mexico through five changes of government over the past 30 years. For companies operating in the private sector, it is important to listen to policies and adapt to the directives and strategies of each government. We have been able to do that with the current government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. We look at clear objectives, such as where the money is going to be spent. We are in many different businesses in Mexico, with much of our activity focused in the upstream. The government has articulated that it wants to strengthen Pemex. It wants to provide more funding to directly and indirectly increase exploration production activities. As a result, we have tried to be dialed into its strategy. We want to compete and win their business. We are active in the deep-water, shallow-water, and onshore segments in different facets of our business. We have around 1,600 people in Mexico based at 11 different sites within Mexico. Many work to directly support the upstream business. We are also competing for the business of private producers that won concessions from prior governments. These companies are now progressing from planning stages to their development and production programs.

What were the main objectives for the recent rebranding of Baker Hughes?
Looking at recent history of both General Electric (GE), specifically its oil and gas division, and Baker Hughes, these entities merged July 2017 to create what is now Baker Hughes. That was step one of the rebranding. At the time, GE had a majority share of the new company, but it has since elected to reduce that to below 50%. Hence, it has been a good time to further establish the brand of Baker Hughes. The logo has changed, although the name has not due to its strong recognition in the industry. Baker Hughes is recognized as the only full-stream company in our sector, participating in up-, mid-, and downstream. No one else has combined all these skills to support the entire industry, and we go beyond to provide integrated services. In addition to the upstream oil field services, we are in the business of liquefied natural gas, compression, power generation, gas processing, and equipment modernization.

How has the Mexican market responded to your offering?
It is a work in progress. Many companies are looking for creating efficiencies. They want to produce more with less. And it is about adapting to buying things in a different way, with different performance parameters, and evaluating the entire operation, including both CAPEX and OPEX. Companies are used to dealing with specialized suppliers. One of the elements we want to emphasize is to become energy partners with the sector. We want to support the whole sector to provide cleaner, safer, and more efficient energy to the world. We are involved in doing things more efficiently and with a smaller carbon footprint. There is, for example, integrity needed in pipelines, which is an area that can generate emissions in the form of methane gas. We supply valves, pipeline commissioning, and integrity services and compression equipment for this industry. Things can also be made more environmentally friendly. We are also big in the LNG space, which is a sector growing internationally as other more environmentally damaging fuels are being displaced.