In 2020, the lockdowns and economic shutdowns caused by the pandemic around the globe contributed to the decline in oil demand and consequently oil prices on the global market. A scenario never imagined before.
Unexpectedly, in April 2020, oil prices in the two most important international markets plummeted: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) by 305% and Brent by 6%. These markets showed oil prices below the cost of oil production, transportation, and storage. As a result, the global oil community entered a period of uncertainty and alertness regarding the future of the post-pandemic energy industry.
As a reactive measure, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reduced the daily global production of oil barrels. This measure caused large oil producers to reduce their operating expenses, which left the market in decline.
As a proposal to counteract the decline in the price of crude oil and stimulate the recovery of the market after the international oil demand decrease, OPEC suggested member countries, including Mexico, reducing their oil production to 400,000 barrels per day. Mexico, who at first did not accept the proposal, ended up agreeing with OPEC to cut oil production to 100,000 barrels per day equivalent.
But, what is the status of the Mexican oil industry? Mexico’s current production is in the order of 1,700 MBND, and approximately half of this volume corresponds to heavy crude segregations: about 51% corresponds to heavy segregations and 6% to extra-heavy crude.
This panorama presents a challenge in identifying and discerning zones to implement thermal and/or chemical enhanced recovery processes. This challenge comes due to conventional reservoirs fugacity when compared to unconventional ones. Therefore, implementing and expanding enhanced hydrocarbon recovery projects in Mexico is a must if the country wants to increase reservoirs production levels and recovery.
At this point, I believe that innovative technologies such as the Super Matroid Heater from Nakasawa Resources, with a highly efficient vaporization process and steam qualities above 90%, would be of significant use to increase the probability of success of their volumetric goals. Moreover, they would help address the great challenge of achieving an optimal energy mix to meet internal demands while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.