Cesar A. GRANADOS, Mexico country manager for Weatherford de Mexico

The positive side of the current industry downturn is that it forces companies to innovate, make changes, experiment with the new, and use the same or less amount of capital to do more.

Cesar A. GRANADOS Country Manager Weatherford de Mexico

in figures

Year Weatherford entered Mexico1976

Discount Weatherford gave to Pemex in August 201615% on 17 contracts

Blessing in disguise

October 13, 2016

TOGY talks to Cesar A. Granados, country manager in Mexico for Weatherford, about managing an oilfield services company and the pace of development in the country. In Mexico, Weatherford has been a leader in onshore and shallow-water well construction, completions and production, and is growing its deepwater presence as the country opens up to further funding and development investment.

What key projects has Weatherford been involved with in Mexico?
Our local experience and knowledge is deep and broad. Weatherford has led multiple major exploratory and production projects throughout Mexico for our customers and partners. These include integrated projects in the Burgos, Chicontepec and Tertiary basins, as well as single product and service offerings on every basin in the country.

What are the advantages of partnering with local companies in the domestic market?
Domestic services companies are strong in Mexico and we do not see them as competitors. Working and partnering with them is especially advantageous in this economic environment. Some local players have expertise and capabilities that match our offerings in the country, allowing us to solve our customer’s needs efficiently.

How has Weatherford’s experience in Mexico evolved?
Weatherford entered Mexico in 1976 with a small manufacturing facility for its cementation products. Today we are one of Mexico’s largest and diversified services companies, thanks to our core local foundation, which is composed of our great local people, Weatherford’s entrepreneurial spirit and a broad portfolio and footprint. During these 40 years in country, we have successfully established all of Weatherford’s services lines in the country including drilling, directional drilling, drilling fluids, completion, intervention, coiled tubing, wireline, artificial lift and well testing.
At this time, Weatherford is entering a new cycle of development in Mexico. We are expanding our offshore operations beyond our flagship well construction and intervention offerings. In this regard, we recently introduced our offshore rigless intervention and production enhancement solutions in the marine area, where we perform complex well interventions using coiled tubing, thru-tubing, wireline, slickline and managed pressure services. Also we are leveraging our Reservoir Solutions group in packaging customised applications for the drilling, formation evaluation and production challenges of our customers.

Is Weatherford positioned to offer services to the deepwater sector, or is the focus more on shallow-water activities?
As an integrated company, we are focused on shallow water, given that we have the capabilities to do it. We have an integrated intervention project right now for shallow waters and we have done a number of servicing jobs for many shallow-water wells.
In deepwater, it’s different. We focus on what we know best within this operating environment. When it comes to deepwater operations worldwide, we are the best company for various services, such as integrated laboratory solutions, well construction and well integrity services, which include our managed pressure drilling technology and tubular running services.
We have good experience in Mexico’s deepwater. Some of our latest success stories include borehole enlargement operations using our RipTide RFID drilling reamer, a new technology especially effective for Mexico’s deep water, and the application of liner-hangers.

Have you seen an appetite from Pemex to apply state-of-the-art and cost-effective technologies?
Yes; we are working in partnership with Pemex to find innovative ways to address the challenges posed by Mexico’s most complex basins. This includes onshore, offshore, intervention, drilling and completion. We have sat down several times with Pemex and today we have multiple frameworks that facilitate these kinds of discussions and the implementation of their outcomes. Weatherford has a very good understanding of the NOC environment, allowing us to offer Pemex one of the best solutions in the country.


For which of your services do you foresee the highest demand in Mexico over the next few years?
The positive side of the current industry downturn is that it forces companies to innovate, make changes, experiment with the new, and use the same or less amount of capital to do more. This is where Weatherford can help, not necessarily as a function of a single product or service line, but as the result of finding the right combination of all to meet the specific challenges of our clients.

What is your assessment of the human capital in the Mexican oil and gas industry?
Human capital is the most important asset of our company. The development and performance of human capital is central to our company’s vision. Mexicans working in the oil and gas industry don’t have the need to leave Mexico, because the country offers plenty of opportunities. Talking to people from other private companies will give you a sense that there are talented people with plenty of experience in the industry. The real fuel and energy behind Weatherford’s success comes from its people.

What progress has been made with regards to the development of Mexico’s shale resources?
You always have an opportunity to learn. Take the case of Argentina, where operators have experience in drilling and completing shale wells with the help and technology of international services companies. Mexico has great resource potential and when the conditions are right, the support from the services companies will be there. Today, there is little activity on horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing; however, potential emerging shale plays are relatively well known. In our view, the development of Mexico’s shale resources is more a matter of economics and timing than technical or resource constraints.

Why is Mexico an attractive destination for oil and gas companies?
If you look at it from a broad lens, Mexico is a stable country with a healthy financial outlook, low unemployment compared with other Latin American countries and economically very attractive to invest in. It has a strong manufacturing and industrial base. The energy industry plays a significant part in its economy. This is the key reason behind companies’ desires to be here. Prices are low and they are willing to invest.

What are the prospects for deepwater development in Mexico?
There are some challenges for deepwater development. If you compare deepwater activity in the USA to Mexico, it’s really different. The USA has a lot of capacity and infrastructure. Mexico is currently working to grow in this area, and it is looking for ways to develop deepwater fields in the midterm. Shallow-water is different, as Mexico already is a leader and has the entire infrastructure needed in place for further development.

What are Weatherford’s key objectives in Mexico for 2017 and beyond?
Into 2017, Weatherford will continue to support Pemex in its quest to find new reserves and to stabilise its production, while offering our international and domestic clients the best of Weatherford’s international standards and local experience. We are committed to developing our broad pool of local talent and consolidating our culture of operational excellence, cost efficiency, service quality and safety-focused operations.

For more news and features on Mexico, click here.

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