Rigzone conducted an exclusive Q&A with Yann Kirsch, business development and planning director of Goimar, a Mexican service provider for the oil and gas (O&G) industry. Kirsch discusses Goimar's next step in the Mexican energy industry and how their main goal and priority is to assist Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) as Mexico's level of crude-oil production decreases
Rigzone: With PEMEX working and exploring deeper depths and requiring specialized skills, what is Goimar doing to fill this need?
Kirsch: Pemex hydrocarbon production has decreased in the last 10 years at an annual average rate of 11 percent. Most hydrocarbon potential in Mexico is in deep water, however shallow water has been, is, and will continue to be the target for its productiveness and economic viability.
Work-over and drilling rigs are facing more challenging tasks in shallow waters, demanding more capabilities to target more complex and deeper jobs. Goimar has been a part of several well-established and reputable companies to address these demanding capabilities by investing in jackup acquisitions with 30,000 feet drilling capacity and 3,000 hp platform (modular) rigs.
In 2010, we hired and partnered with a Houston-based company, Zentech Inc, to design and engineer a 3,000 hp self-erecting modular rig, which will allow Pemex to drill up to 35,000 feet and reduce costs considerably by eliminating the necessity of using a crane barge to install them on the jackets.
Rigzone: You mentioned that Goimar is investing a significant amount of money to research and development (R&D) in order to prepare the fields and companies for the deepwater challenge. Can you please explain? And how have recent international events impacted this objective?
Kirsch: Goimar has not only invested money in R&D to develop the GX-10 design (3,000 hp self-erecting modular rig), but has also had several contributions awarded by Mexico's entity in charge of the promotion of scientific and technological activities. The CONACYT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología / the National Council of Science and Technology) for this design and other development that is currently underway will contribute to the worldwide O&G industry.
Rigzone: What challenges has Goimar experienced when the company shifted its focus to rig owner and manager? What has been the upside?
Kirsch: Goimar transitioned from an operator/manager to rig owner/operator/manager. With our operational experiences and knowledge of Pemex and the O&G industry, we have been able to offer a good return of investment to our investors and shareholders, along with a business experience that minimizes risk and opens new opportunities.
Rigzone: With the North American shale boom occurring and the demand for imports at a 20-year low, how will this affect Mexico, Pemex and Goimar?
Kirsch: This has opened a new range of business opportunities and has awakened interest in many international companies interested in this area. Pemex plans to drill more than 150 wells in the next four years, with a potential investment of around $3 billion.
However, Pemex gas production is not a priority as oil, therefore Pemex will concentrate most of its assets and investments in the oil drilling division - where Goimar's growth has been created.
Rigzone: You mentioned fundamental changes are taking place in the Mexican oil and gas industry that directly affect Pemex's overall growth vision, can you please explain this?
Kirsch: A new presidency has begun, and with it, will come great fundamental changes for the energy sector that will positively affect the current status quo of the Mexican O&G industry.
There is an imminent necessity to boost production, and the only solution to this is hiring more rigs and work as efficiently as possible. This will result directly in an economic and social growth for the country. Pemex has been changing positively in its openness to international players and markets, by creating International Open Tenders, bringing new technology and international know-how. Safety regulations and standards have always been implemented in the industry, and today more than ever, safety procedures and certifications are priority for Pemex.
Rigzone: With PEMEX expanding its shallow water fleet, what opportunities will this provide for Goimar? Pemex is building two jackups at Keppel FELS, will there be an opportunity for Goimar to manage these Pemex-owned units?
Kirsch: Goimar will continue to be one of the leading Mexican rig operator and service providers for Pemex by continuing to acquire jackups. Pemex's interest to build two Keppel FELS units is a positive sign for the Mexican O&G industry, and it will mark an example for international shipyards and increase interest in the Mexican market. This experience will start a new O&M era for Pemex personnel. Pemex will be responsible for operating and maintaining the units.
Rigzone: What are Goimar's near-term goals? Are there more rig acquisitions on the horizon? Does Goimar plan to acquire any deepwater units?
Kirsch: Our main goal is to satisfy our main customer: PEMEX. There will be more rig acquisitions in the short term, and also new builds (jackups and platform rigs). Goimar will not enter the deepwater market, yet.
Rigzone: Do you think Pemex plans to use direct negotiation methods or an open-tender system that was in place before? Can you explain how the current system works and in your opinion, which is more sufficient?
Kirsch: There are two types of methods: open-tender and direct assignation. Both have their pros and cons. It really depends on the current market, timing restraints, players participating, assets availability, rates, and other variables that dictate how Pemex proceeds.
The advantages of a direct assignation (direct negotiation) is that timing is shortened and there are no competitors involved. With an open-tender process, the battle for price and the longer timing on the process is very common.
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