with HORACIO FERREIRA, General Director, SURPETROL
Can you give some background information on the company highlighting when it was establish here in Mexico ?
Surpetrol is an international oil service company with headquarters in Houston, Texas. The company was established in 1985 and provides services in well testing with multiphase meters. In Mexico, we initiated operations 10 years ago with a key focus on services related to production optimization and reservoir management. We currently employ near 150 locals and have presence in Villahermosa, Mexico City Ciudad del Carmen and Poza Rica.
What are the specific services that you offer?
We are an engineering company with main focus on services related to production optimization and reservoir management. Our main service is no conventional well testing. Surpetrol is a global leader in providing well testing services with multi-phase meters. Our group has executed over 50,000 jobs and has vast experience in the interpretation and integration of production data in real time.
A key factor, to optimize well productive and reservoir management, is to measure and monitor the production of each well. Surpetrol offer state of the art service technology to fully maximize your reservoir production.
We provide our clients with the best solutions that are available on the market for the specific needs that they have. We have been working with Pemex for 10 years and offer service technology that facilitate gathering key technical information for well and reservoir optimization.
Essentially, we measure and monitor the production of the wells, and based on that, we create the structure to support our clients in evaluating their assets, maximizing their production, and optimizing investment returns.
As you mention Surpetrol has been here for 10 years. What projects have you been involved in and what has been the success of the company?
We specifically work with Pemex E&P and have provided services for all the different oil production regions. Within our area of services, we have had the opportunity and pleasure to work in key references areas as Cantarell, KMZ and ATG but also in marginal fields.
As for your question on success, the key is to bring in solutions to Pemex that have two key factors: adding value in technology and reducing cost. Those are the two aspects that we have been focused on.
That is a challenge. Because you have to optimize production, while being cost-efficient, while adding the technology how do you manage?
We don’t develop technology but we deeply study it from our client prospective and based on it, we develop valued solutions. The strategic alliances that Surpetrol has with technology companies, enables us to meet the challenge and provide innovate technical and economical solutions.
What do you see as the future opportunities in the coming years?
In Mexico, the oil production is decreasing and Pemex needs to find new producing alternatives to overcome the production decline. As a result there is opportunities for companies with innovated technologies in mature fields as well as to no conventional field such as deep water.
We will keep investing in Mexico because we believe in Mexico. I know that Mexico has challenges, but when a country and an industry have challenges good solutions are required. That is what we want to bring to the table.
Some companies have developed innovations in Mexico and exported it to other parts of the world. Is this the case with Surpetrol?
That is no the case for us; however, we have gained from the industry in Mexico in terms of experience.
As you have mention you have a good relation with Pemex, today the company is going into an interesting change and seems that today the know how is more important than the know who. How do you think that the company has changed in the past years?
I do not fully agree that in the past you needed to know someone in order to work in Pemex or at least in the specific areas where we have been working. However, I do consider that Pemex needs to review its administrative regulations to facilitate the participation of vendors. Most of the key projects in Mexico are offered as integrated bids that restrict the participation of companies with key technological solutions.
I would say that Pemex has evolved in a positive way but need to do more in order to be more productive.
What are your ambitions for the company in the coming five years?
Under our production optimization and reservoir management platform, we look forward to providing additional sources of information and data analysis to Pemex, so they keep gaining in understanding its reservoirs. There is now no longer a filed like Cantarell where you could drill and produce 10-20,000 barrels of oil. Now we must come and work together to succeed.
The easy oil is over?
The easy oil is over. So engineering companies should be focus in evolving their technologies.
In this context, is Surpetrol planning to introduce new solutions in the coming three years?
We are focusing on that. We are looking to integrate a gathering database system to facilitate data analysis. The oil industry must improve its efficiency; we must improve the recover factors in our reservoirs and become more responsible for the exploration of our natural resources.
I would like to highlight that today in Mexico we are working with Petrofac and we look forward to adding value in their task of improving production in the two fields they are operating.
Some of our interviews comment that the success that Petrofac will draw the line of the future of foreign companies in Mexico. Will you agree?
There is no question that will draw a line but no only for the future of foreign operators but for the modernization and reorientation of Pemex. No single company can target every prospect; a company must focus in its best areas to fully develop its potential. As a result, I welcome this changes but encourage Mexico to evaluate and set the proper regulations to guarantee the best value for its people.
As you mention the oil and gas industry will become more important however people question whether Pemex can move into deep water and shale gas?
That is the point I was trying to make. It is very difficult for Pemex to be everywhere, deep water, shale gas, marginal fields to name few; hence they need to focus on “the easy oil” or better prospects and just leave the more complex prospect to other ones. Regulation and associations with key groups are going to be key for the country.
Sir what advice would you like to the CEOs that are coming to work to Mexico?
Don’t loose your time with the people to claim to be friends of the big boss but rather go to the big boss, be committed but patient and don’t expect results in the first 5 years.
What is your final message?