Can you provide us with a comprehensive overview of Transeparation and its divisions?

Transeparation is a company formed by a group of experienced process engineers who specialize in drilling, operations, plant design, and process equipment and technology in the oil industry. We have two divisions: upstream and downstream, with the upstream division being the most active. In the downstream division, we offer commercial assistance to UOP, which is an international supplier and licensor of process technology for the petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries that we represent.

What was the biggest milestone for Transeparation to date?

The biggest milestone for Transeparation was designing the plant that will treat the production of Loma Campana, the shale oil field where Chevron and YPF are working together. The challenge in this project was that the oil is completely different from conventional oil, being paraffinic and quite volatile. The completion of this project successfully will be an important milestone.

Why has the Argentinean market been relatively slow in the past year and what issues is it facing?

YPF, which is the Argentinian exploration and production (E&P) company, is the most active company by far. Other companies are waiting to see the results of the development of the shale oil and tight gas fields and for a better environment for oil prices to relaunch their projects. Revamping Argentina’s old oil fields is also planned, but there are many issues to discuss before this happens. Therefore, some companies are doing the minimum necessary to keep their licenses valid. Water management is a significant issue because 90% to 97% of mature fields production is water. So, operators are water producers rather than oil producers. Production water treatment and management are challenging and costly and require very qualified operations to achieve the proper results.

How much has Transeparation grown since its founding, and what sort of partners does it work with?

Transeparation is a small firm, consisting of 20 highly specialized engineers who sell technology and specialties. Small teams also staff our activities in Mexico and Bolivia. We specialize in designing plants for oil, gas, and production water treatment and most of the process equipment that are part of the plants. We have partner agreements with larger firms that need our know-how as a complement to their services.

Crude oil production has fallen from 855,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 530,000 bpd over the past few years, yet prospects for gas are quite high. Can Transeparation work in the gas sector as well?

Yes, Transeparation has the expertise to deal with gas projects, but in the past few years, there have not been many opportunities to do so. The price of gas has been quite low, making projects in Argentina not feasible. However, over the last year, the government has developed more gas projects because Argentina is not self-sufficient and needs to reduce imports.

Is the market for service and equipment providers in the gas sector particularly crowded in comparison to the oil sector?

Gas is generally a more competitive sector. In the current environment, some gas producing companies prefer renting equipment instead of buying it, and as the project develops, they determine whether an upgrade is necessary or not.

Does Argentina lack the technology or ability to take full advantage of its resources?

In order for Argentina to take full advantage of its resources, the benefits associated with E&P must outweigh the risks. Given our history as an oil-producing nation, we have the basic infrastructure and know-how. Exxon currently has the two most productive wells in the Neuquén basin, but they cost $50 million and $70 million, respectively.

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