TheWayAhead editors / Society of Petroleum Engineers
Pemex is one of the world’s largest oil producers in shallow waters. What role has technology played to get to this point?
It has been fundamental. Without technology those discoveries would not have been developed at an appropriate cost/benefit ratio. Shallow-water technologies are being adapted and applied to face the environmental conditions such as seafloor instabilities, water currents, and hurricane-force winds of the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, in these waters we have found a great variety of reservoir conditions where technology has been the key to exploit these kinds of reservoirs properly. For example: extremely high reservoir pressures and temperatures, control of connate water production, organic and inorganic scales, sour fluids, heavy and extra-heavy oil, and also compartmentalized naturally fractured reservoirs.
At this point, most of our fields in shallow waters are mature, so the technological application becomes a preponderant factor for their cost-effectiveness. Likewise, technological innovation nowadays is and will continue to be a key factor for the exploitation of the enormous reserves of extra-heavy oil, which we have in these waters.