“We have invested over USD 800 million in the Misión field since we began”
Humberto Fernández, vice president of Tecpetrol in Mexico, talked about growth opportunities at the country’s National Oil Convention, an event that brings together global leaders and officials to discuss the hydrocarbons sector.
The main thrust of Tecpetrol Mexico Vice President Humberto Fernández’s presentation was how to apply the experience gained at Fortín de Piedra to the initiatives underway to develop the energy sector in Mexico. The executive was speaking at the National Petroleum Convention held at the end of April, the flagship event of the Mexican Association of Hydrocarbon Companies (AMEXHI), now in its seventh edition, which brought together industry experts, academia and the authorities under the slogan “Keys to Mexico's energy growth”.
"We showed that in barely a year-and a-half, we were able to go from zero to producing 500 million cubic feet a day of unconventional hydrocarbons," declared Fernández, who is also CEO of Techgen, another of the Techint Group’s companies and one which is valued at 1 billion dollars. Techgen is a natural gas-fueled combined-cycle power plant in Pesqueria, in northeastern Mexico. "This was an enormous challenge, not only from a production point of view, but also because of the need to build the facilities and everything involved in record time. We demonstrated that unconventional E&P can happen in Argentina and that it can be replicated in Mexico," added the engineer, speaking on the panel “Driving development for Mexico”, flanked by other industry captains such as Martin Jungbluth from Wintershall Dea, Sergio Limardo from Repsol, and Luis Zagaglia, from Diavaz.
The Mexican context calls for reflection. As was discussed at the event, current exploration plans are being cut back in the coming months, while the National Hydrocarbons Commission has received a request for the early termination of numerous contracts, placing the country at the serious risk of reducing its activity.
“Mexico is the sixth-largest unconventional hydrocarbon reserve in the world. And it is the first one in terms of the fact that it has not been developed, meaning that it offers huge potential for development. We need to not only look to the north, where there is a great deal of experience on the other side of the border but also to the south, to see what other Latin American countries are doing,” said Fernández in response to the question asked by the AMEXHI moderator Merlin Cochran. "Gas will continue to be the number one fuel of the energy transition in the next few years and decades, and in that sense, Mexico has an enormous opportunity before it."
During the panel, where participants hailed from companies running onshore operations, shallow and deepwater operations, and national and international companies, Humberto Fernández shared a profile of Tecpetrol, and its operations in Mexico. The company started the activity in 2003 in the Misión Block, beginning with a contract to provide Pemex with services that subsequently migrated to a production contract as a partner in 2018. "I like to say that we are the private onshore company with the highest gas output in Mexico," summarized Fernández. He drew attention to the need to find a way to move forward in unconventional projects as this was necessary to increase the national energy supply, meet global demand, and consolidate Mexico's energy security.
Asked about how to deal with mature wells, Fernández shared his opinion that, "our associations with Pemex are highly successful, although at times somewhat more difficult due to finance-related issues. However, on a day-to-day basis, we are seeking to compensate for the decline of mature fields with greater activity and more effort put in by the whole team, however, demanding this is.”
Since 2003, Tecpetrol has invested more than 800 million dollars in Mexico, developing 192 exploratory wells and achieving a success rate of 65%, according to Fernández. "The importance Mexico has for our company cannot be understated: this is where we drilled our first horizontal well, as part of a pilot project,” he summarized, adding that, “recently we achieved excellent results at another horizontal well in the Arcabuz fields enabling us to drill new wells that hold great promise for the future.”