This week’s Interview of the Week is with Carlos Palavicini, Regional Manager Latin America of Petrolink. We discussed the company’s real-time data use services and its application for well management. Petrolink is a provider of real-time data solutions to the oil and gas industry, helping companies to optimize their drilling.


Q: What have been the major differences that Petrolink’s services have made in the oil and gas industry?

A: We pride ourselves on offering real-time services as one of our main differentiators and for contributing to turning this into a commodity. We strongly support the use of proven standards in the industry, ultimately bringing more companies on board with these practices. One of our vice presidents is on the board of directors of Energistics, a consortium that manages digital and automation standards for the oil and gas industry. We have helped the industry to realize that their operations benefit a great deal from these services and standards. Moreover, we make a difference in the industry by adding the interpretation of data in real time as a complement to visual analyses. We talk about algorithms to calculate the efficiency of the operation and overcome data-quality issues that might cause misinterpretation. We help other companies cope with these misinterpretations by providing precise calculations instead of the usual estimations offered in the market. We are also developing tools based on machine learning and artificial intelligence because the drilling industry is reaching a point where it is producing a lot of useful information, which implies challenges and opportunities regarding what to do with it.

Q: How does your data analysis services make your customers’ operations more efficient?

A: Efficiency in data processing means having all the information available and the interpretative tools needed for decision-making. Implementation is also necessary to ensure that the decision is communicated in the right way and our solutions work because they link what we provide regarding information and analysis with real communication protocols inside companies. We have two types of clients in the oil industry, oil companies and drilling contractors, with the former employing this service to monitor and supervise their operations while the latter monitors the efficiency of their rigs and equipment. Failing to optimize drilling means extra time and extra costs, so we focus on KPIs that allow the identification of optimal times and costs. A reduction of even 1 percent on the drilling time can imply significant savings in a company’s operations and these savings even cover the costs of the services we offer to these companies.

Q: What steps have you taken to push for higher-quality collection processes in Mexico?

A: The drilling process involves lowering the pipe, connecting to the pipe below and pushing that pipe to make the operation run. This is a hard process to measure but we measure the time required for the pipe to perform this operation. By measuring this process in Mexico, where the oil and gas industry uses technology possessed by IOCs rather than the NOC or government, it was identified that data quality exposed underlying issues that affected service delivery. Therefore, we decided to go to the service providers and convince them of the benefits of our services. Bad data quality is a global issue and there have been extensive calls in the industry to cover these cracks. This is due to the lack of standards at this level and we have a lot of things to solve here.

Q: How would you assess the development of your operational excellence center for PEMEX?

A: This is an in-house center located inside the facilities of oil companies where they have people monitoring the data 24/7 to have that alerting service nearby. The downturn in oil prices pushed companies to start cutting expenses and some of them deemed this service non-essential, so we decided to experiment with new things and introduce a remote alert service with recommendations on how to evaluate their facilities’ behavior. We are proud of this introduction as it was initially seen as something that would not work in Mexico, since PEMEX is quite a conservative company, but they foresaw the value and approved the implementation and now we even provide this service to our clients in the US and Argentina, operating remotely from our office in Mexico.

Q: What is the value your PetroVue app has given to your customers in terms of operability?

A: PetroVue Mobile allows an operator to check the status of its facility operations remotely, making a decision based on the alerts received from operational developments. At the moment we are offering this service to our clients and they have responded positively. Ideally, we should be able to extend this interaction through our phones into fields such as medicine and others, but the oil and gas industry needs to tread the path first. Ultimately, we will provide customers with the analysis and the recommendations on what to do through this app.

Q: Where should the next administration set the emphasis for the proper development of the industry?

A: Every contract awarded so far has been transparent and clear, nobody has questioned their validity and it should be kept that way. Companies that won the first onshore blocks have not even started the development of these fields so the industry has a lot of maturing to do before we can even assess the success of the Energy Reform. If there is one thing that could improve it, it is compliance. This has proven to be volatile and we need to facilitate the process, especially from the side of the public-sector hierarchy when dealing with private entities. It will be hard to change the current situation entirely but first we need to emphasize that the benefits from the industry’s changes will be felt by the majority of the population in terms of jobs and gasoline prices.

This is an excerpt from the 2018 edition of Mexico Oil and Gas Review. If you want to get all the information, plus other relevant insights regarding this industry, pre-order your copy Mexico Oil and Gas  Review or access our digital copy.

Don’t miss out on your chance to rub shoulders with the industry’s leaders at the launch of the new edition of Mexico Oil and Gas Review at Mexico Oil and Gas Summit 2019, at the Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel in Mexico City this July 17 – 18! Register here!

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