The Business Year

Jesús Lamas

MEXICO - Energy & Mining

Committed to Mexican Oil

Director General Mexico and Central America, Schlumberger

Bio

Jesús Lamas has 21 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and has worked in a variety of regions including North America, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. He started his career in Schlumberger in 1998 in Algeria. Lamas has been General Director for Mexico and Central America since 2016.

TBY talks to Jesús Lamas, Director General Mexico and Central America for Schlumberger, on deepwater opportunities, digital innovation in the oil industry, and the high demand for drilling services.

What is Schlumberger’s vision in the Mexican oil industry, and how does the company intend to contribute to the development of the sector?

Schlumberger has been active in Mexico for 82 years; we are an integral part of the country’s oil and gas history. The company has brought new technologies and processes while employing and training local talent. As a player in Mexico’s oil industry since the beginning, we have a substantial understanding of the area, both on the surface and in the subsurface. In the context of the fourth industrial revolution, Schlumberger´s vision is to help the Mexican oil and gas industry to smoothly transition into a more efficient era, in which specialists spend more time making decisions concerning meaningful tasks, rather than performing repetitive activities that could easily be automated. This in turn translates to greater profitability, with better risk management over the E&P value chain giving more certainty with decision making processes derived from big data and AI.

How is the company further innovating and expanding its services in Mexico?

We have executed the largest multiclient seismic project in the world using the latest technologies for both seismic acquisition and imaging tailored to address the geological and geophysical challenges in the Campeche basin. Our multiclient library is available for licensing to any company interested in investing in the country. This data coupled with specific studies has helped companies make informed decisions and has driven some of the largest investment of foreign companies in Mexico. We have expanded our infrastructure. Recently, we opened a state-of-the-art facility in Villahermosa, where we can maintain our entire technology portfolio and run most of our land, shallow-water, and deepwater operations. This is just one of our many facilities in Mexico. Our presence is also well established in Ciudad del Carmen, Veracruz, Poza Rica, and Reynosa, and we have satellite facilities in Dos Bocas and Tampico. With our network of facilities, we are able to support any upstream activity.

What opportunities have you identified when it comes to deepwater projects in the country?

We are the industry leader in deepwater projects around the world, with a significant presence in deepwater projects in Mexico. We have participated in the largest number of deepwater wells in the country, and such projects demand advanced technologies and expertise, which is where our strength lies. For instance, we have introduced technologies such as SonicScope multipole sonic-while-drilling service to mitigate risks in exploration environments, Quanta Geo photorealistic reservoir geology service which redefines imaging in oil-base mud (OBM) to profice highly detailed images, Litho Scanner high-definition spectroscopy service, and CLEANCUT cuttings collection and transportation system, to name a few. Deepwater projects also require extensive integration of technology, processes, workflow management, and training of personnel to run the highly complex operations.

How is the fourth industrial revolution marking the beginning of a new digital era in the oil industry?

In different forums and gatherings, one often hears buzzwords such as big data, artificial intelligence, and high-performance computing (HPC). In Schlumberger, we started defining our digital strategies at the beginning of the decade. We decided we would not merely make use of new emerging technologies such as big data and cloud computing; instead, we started developing new solutions combining our vast experience in software, E&P workflows, and hardware, as enhanced by new cognitive and artificial intelligence capabilities. All of this is available in our new DELFI E&P environment, which we launched in 2017 at our SIS Global Forum. The industry realizes that randomly adopting any technology that emerges, for instance, cloud computing or big data, ends up with an unbalanced workflow. You need to start from the beginning and think about what these technologies could enable you to do. Then you develop the digital solutions to suit your needs. The digital revolution will lead to a leap in efficiency in the oil and gas industry. The future is in the technology, and we are well positioned in terms of our software solutions, enabled with high-end technologies such as cloud and HPC. In our design philosophy, we have a system approach, which means we do not look at designing different elements in isolation; we look at the entire system. This approach enables us to have systems that are fully aligned with the digital revolution.

What are the biggest opportunities to make the oil industry in Mexico more efficient?

Advancements in the digitalization of the oil and gas industry in Mexico are important. Pemex has been a leader in this front, contributing to the efficiency of the industry and adding significant value to operations in the country. When talking about opportunities, we must go back to the basic drivers and strategies of the country’s energy industry—i.e., increasing production, increasing the volume of research in the sector, and improving our knowledge of the subsurface. Our technologies have put us in a great position to achieve this. Our people have a vast knowledge of the oil and gas reservoirs in Mexico, which is a great opportunity for us and our customers moving forward.

Which of your solutions are in highest demand in Mexico, and why are they more popular?

Our portfolio consists of three main areas: drilling, production, and reservoir characterization. Drilling services currently have the highest demand due to the current business environment, and the production services come next, as there is currently a big drive in the country to increase production. However, reservoir characterization services are also important, and our multiclient seismic services program and digital transformation services fall into this category.

What are the company’s strategies to expand its presence in Mexico?

We have been here for over 80 years. We are committed to the oil and gas industry in Mexico and to the country itself. Our plan is to continue on the path of growth and development. More importantly, we want to continue the localization of advanced technologies and development of our human resources in a sustainable way. We contribute to the local communities wherever we work and operate. For instance, we recently celebrated the 20-year anniversary of our Schlumberger Excellence in Education Development (SEED) program initiative. SEED is a hands-on program that relies on the scientific and technological expertise of our employee volunteers and focuses on STEM topics through camps, teacher professional development, workshops, and classroom visits. This past year we hosted workshops for students ranging from ages 8 to 18 years old in Tabasco, Campeche, and Veracruz. In addition, we sponsored student teams selected from the eight SEED schools in Mexico to participate in both the national and international robotics tournaments, as well as donating robotics materials to schools that excel in science and technology initiatives. We will continue to work in our community and maintain our commitment to environmental stewardship, because being socially responsible is essential to maintaining the growth of a company.

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