In his last role, Merlin worked at Mexico’s Ministry of Energy where he was Deputy General Director in the O&G upstream division. There he worked on promoting local content, developing public policies regarding the environmental aspects of the upstream sector (such as emission reductions), managing the Ministry’s upstream data warehouses, amongst others.
Before working in the Ministry, Merlin was managing O&G drilling rigs both onshore and offshore. He started in Brunei as a trainee with Schlumberger and continued his career in countries like Venezuela, Oman, UAE, Iraq and Saudi Arabia working as a drilling contractor for clients such as Shell, BP, ENI, ExxonMobil, PDVSA & Saudi Aramco.
Merlin is a Civil Engineering graduate of Mexico’s Institute Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. He underwent Harvard Business School’s Program for Leadership Development, and has an Executive MBA from both London Business School & Columbia Business School.
Geophysical Engineer and Master in Exploration of Oil and Gas from UNAM. PhD from Department of Geology and Geophysics, Rice University. Retired from PEMEX in 2009 after 34 years of service. Last position: Manager of Holok-Temoa Asset, first deepwater asset of PEMEX. Professor of Seismic Interpretation, Facultad de Ingeniería, UNAM since 2010. Geosciences Consultant since 2010. Active member of AMGE, AAPG, SEG and Academia de Ingeniería
Pierre-Yves CHENET (PhD. Paris school of Mines) is Chief Technology Officer for Exploration at Beicip-Franlab, an affiliate of IFPEN.He acted as Project Manager on exploration studies over more than 100 basins and thousands of prospects worldwide since 35 years. He was President of Beicip Servicios de Mexico for 7 years and has conducted various petroleum evaluation studies with Mexican institutions. He has an extended experience in reservoir assessment and economic asset evaluation.
Challenges and Opportunities in Deep Water Mexico Offshore
The important reserves (Billions Barrels) in shallow water offshore Mexico have led to focus of deeper water petroleum potential, hoping for an extension of the favorable petroleum system components on the shelf. Detailed geoscience studies and drilling of a few tenths of deep water well have given a more precise picture of various exploration opportunities.
While source-rock presence, trap and seal existence are mostly low risk components, reservoir presence and quality, seal integrity and, locally, HC charge mechanism are not granted and have to be carefully evaluated.
Advanced seismic imaging of the subsalt structures in the northern part of Mexican water (Perdido) have revealed numerous traps, possibly holding Billion barrel size accumulations. Good quality reservoirs (Eocene Wilcox) have been found but their extension remains to be fully understood. HC charge efficiency from Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous depends on the migration pathways toward the shallower tertiary reservoirs. Furthermore, moderate to high overpressure conditions are expected, impacting on the exploration CAPEX and OPEX.
The petroleum potential of undrilled area (Cordilleras Mexicanas, deep water Salina) remains to be assessed. Numerous structures, oil seeps, gas discoveries in Miocene/Pliocene give clues of a possibly significant untapped oil and gas potential, although the understanding of reservoir distribution remains challenging, as well as the impact of active salt diapirism on seal integrity.
The conjunction of the incoming drilling campaign supported by major operators and quantitative potential evaluation studies making use of advanced geological/petroleum system modelling techniques will definitely help confirming the actual potential of Mexican deep water basins.
Maurice Nessim, is the President of WesternGeco - Schlumberger, the world’s leading geophysical exploration company specialized in understanding complex subsurface challenges and designing an integrated data to discovery solution that will provide a better, faster and cheaper answer using advanced processing and interpretation technologies. With over 30 years of oil and gas industry experience in various management and technical positions. Today, Maurice is pioneering WesternGeco’s progressive transformation into an asset-light business, built on WesternGeco’s leading position in multiclient, data processing and geophysical interpretation services. Implementing a vision that capitalizes on WesternGeco’s digital technology and digital assets to accelerate hydrocarbon discovery in exploration, development and production cycles through forging long-lasting strategic collaboration and partnerships.
Jeff manages and advises on domestic and international imaging and interpretation issues for ION which have included extensive work in the US and Mexican Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and Africa. With over 30 years of industry experience, he has worked as a prospect generator for exploration companies such as BP, Ocean Energy, Pioneer Natural Resources, Davis Exploration and Talos Energy in predominantly sub-salt deep-water areas with discoveries at Zama, Thunder Horse, Blind Faith, Clipper, Trident, Nansen, Boomvang, Magnolia, and Red Hawk and was responsible for identifying and maturing prospects and securing the first blocks awarded in the Mexican sale in 2015 while at Talos Energy. This experience has allowed him to understand the client’s needs and the steps necessary to produce the best subsalt image possible. Jeff received his Master of Science degree in Geophysics and his Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.