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Mexican trip makes for seismic experience

Mexican trip makes for seismic experience

June 18, 2015

An eight week trip to Mexico was a once in a lifetime experience for Auckland scientists Peter Wameyo and Michael Cheng.

They both work for International Earth Sciences (IESE), an Auckland based company which specialises in geothermal and micro-seismic analysis. Peter and Michael both went to Mexico to look at the feasibility of two new geothermal energy projects in
Morelia in Michoacan State and the other in Queretaro.

They had to work with the Federal Commission of Electricity of Mexico (CFE), the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the state governments of Michoacan and Queretaro.

Two of the members from the university team that they were working with were held at gunpoint by members of a drug cartel just before they arrived in the country.

While no-one was shot according to Michael it served as a helpful reminder of the security situation in the area.

“It allowed us to organise more security for our staff.”

Peter says while there are already a number of geothermal projects in the country the new schemes they have been working on are a direct result of a change in Mexico's energy policies.

“They are looking at alternative energy and are trying to move away from relying on fossil fuels like gas and oil,” Peter says.

And despite spending the last two months working flat-out to tight deadlines they haven't had time to relax since they got back to New Zealand.

“We're now analysing the data we collected and then we'll get back to them with the results,” Peter says. “We will then come up with a model of the results.”

“We will then do a feasibility study looking at whether the fields are suitable for geothermal energy projects and which areas should be developed.”

And he says by the end of the year they will know whether the projects are going to get the green light.

International Earth Sciences (IESE) has been going for less than a year but the Auckland based company has already secured multi-million dollar contracts in Mexico, Japan, Germany, Indonesia and New Zealand.

The company specialises in geothermal and micro-seismic analysis and grew out of a project by the now defunct University of Auckland Institute for Earth Sciences and Engineering. The company's team includes array of international experts in geology, seismology, physics and instrumentation and data analysis technology.

For more information on International Earth Sciences go to


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