Shane McKee

In Trinidad, one can find everything from low pressure oil wells which need to be pumped by artificial lift, through to exploration in deep water. Although it is not a large market, it runs the complete gamut.

Shane MCKEE Trinidad Country Manager WEATHERFORD

in figures

Trinidad's current oil production: 80,000-85,000 bpd

Maintain to survive

May 26, 2016

Shane McKee, country manager for Weatherford’s Trinidad operations, talks to TOGY about the company’s current operations, challenges facing hydrocarbons firms in the local market and the goals set by the country to raise production in the near future. Founded in 1987, Weatherford is now one of the largest oil and gas services companies in the world.

Can you give us a brief overview of your recent operations?  Weatherford is well known for managed-pressure drilling amongst other services. We brought the related equipment into Trinidad in the second half of 2014, for a project that carried on through Q1 2015.
Other technologies include cased-hole wireline tools, including the Raptor reservoir saturation system, which provides pulsed-neutron measurements for surveillance of liquid and gas saturations, movement of water and gas, recovery factors, and the efficiency of enhanced-oil-recovery techniques.
We’ve also recently introduced new screens to reduce sand production, which can damage the well bore and surface equipment, and are currently introducing other technologies to aid in the prevention of sand production – for example, through chemical treatment.
We have a mix of clients for whom we execute a range of projects, from land work in the south of Trinidad through to offshore operations. We’re also involved in multiple upcoming deepwater projects. Additionally, from Trinidad and Tobago, we’ve extended our support into neighbouring markets including Suriname and Guyana, where we participate in both land and offshore projects.

What are major challenges faced by companies involved in the hydrocarbons market in Trinidad and Tobago?
In Trinidad, one can find everything from low pressure oil wells which need to be pumped by artificial lift, through to exploration in deep water. Although it is not a large market, it runs the complete gamut. There are multiple deepwater operations starting up this year, which may include some of the deepest water depths to date for wells drilled in Trinidad.
It is common knowledge what the market and the industry are currently experiencing. The challenges are the same for us as for our peers in the services industry, and for that matter our clients also.
Like everyone, we’re trying to reduce costs as much as possible due to current pressure on pricing. Clients continue to reach out for price reductions and service companies have to be aggressive. This is the main challenge – doing more with less.
Apart from that, we need to maintain high employee morale and focus as the media is extensively covering the industry downsizing. Internal communication is very important.


What is the relationship between international and local firms in the country?
The difference between local and international firms, in some cases, comes down to technologies. We compete with, and additionally participate in projects with, local companies.
It’s important that we train our local employees in all aspects of management and sales in addition to the appropriate technical knowledge, therefore keeping local content at a very high percentage. To ensure our employees are equipped with the necessary skillsets to best service the client, we  will sometimes send people up to the USA, over to Europe or to other geographic locations for training in specific areas of our operations.

What do you expect from the Trinidad and Tobago’s hydrocarbons industry in the near future?
I believe the current level of oil production is about 80,000-85,000 bpd. At a minimum this should be maintained, or preferably increased.
There are some very interesting and challenging projects that are starting up in this market in addition to ongoing ones. These projects should meet that end, and hopefully exceed everybody’s expectations.


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