“Regardless of country, our customers need to make their processes as efficient as possible, consider the environment in everything they do, and minimize the amount of fresh water they’re using – all while keeping safety as their number one priority,” Alice states.
Formations are like human fingerprints – no two are the same.
The economic crisis in South America had a huge impact on the industry, but now the situation has improved for different players along the value-chain. The regional oil and gas market is very diverse, ranging from onshore to offshore, and from fracking to ultra-deep water exploration. “With this diversity in mind, it’s great that we have an exceptionally wide product portfolio at our disposal and a team of world-class experts who can be onsite to advise customers the very instant they need us,” says Alice.
“Combining just the right chemical products with the right expertise is really important because oil and gas formations are like human fingerprints – no two are the same. What does your water analysis look like? What filtration or dewatering challenges are you facing? What kind of solids are you dealing with? Our job at Kemira is to dive deep into these issues and uncover exactly the right solution for each individual formation.”
Just as elsewhere in the world, unconventional recovery methods, such as fracking, is increasing in importance in South America according to Alice. “In Argentina, for example, we have the Vaca Muerta Formation, which has major deposits of shale oil and shale gas. Operators face big challenges there because the formation is in a desert region with very poor infrastructure and few water sources.”
“One of our biggest advantages is that we’ve developed great relationships with customers in the US who are also in the unconventional recovery business in South America and who know and trust our experts and products – like friction reducers and flocculants that make recovery faster and more energy-efficient,” Alice says. “The fracking market in Colombia is also one of the next challenges. There is huge potential there, which can multiply the country’s current crude oil production level.”
“In my opinion Latin America will continue to play a really important role in the global oil market, especially now that the economic outlook in the region has improved. About 20% of global investment in offshore exploration is in this region, and we expect this to increase. Right now, less than 50% of production is from offshore operations, but in around 10 years this will probably rise to around 70%,” Alice concludes.