Schlumberger has the know-how to get oil and gas drillers out of a slump. One of the world's largest oilfield services companies with scores of business units, it provides a full range of services, including seismic surveys, formation evaluation, drilling technologies and equipment, cementing, well construction and completion, and project management. Schlumberger also provides reservoir evaluation, development, and management services, and is developing new technologies for reservoir optimization. Through its WesternGeco business, the company provides seismic and other surveying services to customers worldwide.
The company has operations in 85 countries.
Schlumberger operates three core segments: the Reservoir Characterization Group (finding and defining hydrocarbon deposits); the Drilling Group (the drilling and positioning of oil and gas wells); and the Production Group Consists (the development and lifetime production of oil and gas reservoirs). The Drilling Group accounted for 38% of the company's 2012 revenues.
After two years of slumping oil demand, a reviving global economy and higher commodity prices helped lift the company's revenues and operating income from 2010 on, especially in the US, where exploration and production activity bounced back strongly.
Schlumberger's revenues increased by 7% in 2012, primarily due to robust exploration and development. Strong offshore activity in the US Gulf of Mexico outweighed a challenging land market.
The company’s net income grew by 10% in 2012 as the result of an increase in net sales and higher income from continued operations.
The company grows both organically and through joint ventures and acquisitions.
In a move to expand its technology and offer new services, in 2012 Schlumberger created Liquid Robotics Oil & Gas, a 50/50 joint venture with Liquid Robotics. The smaller firm makes Wave Gliders, the world's first and only wave-powered, autonomous marine vehicles. The venture will look for ways that its surfboard-sized vessels can provide offshore oil and gas companies with seismic, underwater, and other types of monitoring.
That year it also formed OneSubsea (a 40%-owned joint venture with Cameron International) to manufacture and develop products, systems, and services for the subsea oil and gas market.
To raise cash to pay down debt, in 2011 the company sold noncore communications and information technology unit Global Connectivity Services to Harris Corporation for $397.5 million. In 2012, to further pay down debt and to become more of a pure play oilfield service provider, Schlumberger sold its Wilson International distribution business (acquired in 2010 as part of the Smith International deal) to National Oilwell Varco.
Mergers and Acquisitions
To better support its exploration and production clients, in 2013 the company acquired Gushor Inc., a Canadian-based petroleum geochemistry and fluid analysis company focused on providing innovative production and exploration services in the heavy oil and oil sand industry.
In 2012 it bought GeoKnowledge, a Norwegian-based software company specialized in delivering exploration decision-support technology for the oil and gas industry. The combination of GeoX software with Schlumberger's Petrel E&P software platform enables the company to provide customers with fully integrated solutions for assessment of exploration risk and resource evaluations.
In 2012, to grow its technology portfolio, the company bought GEDCO, a Canada-based supplier of geophysical survey design software and services.
In a blockbuster deal valued at $11 billion, Schlumberger acquired drilling services giant Smith International in 2010.
The transaction added Smith International's proprietary drilling services and equipment to Schlumberger's portfolio, giving Schlumberger an even stronger competitive edge, the ability to offer state-of-the-art drilling technology and services. At a time when oil majors are searching for oil and gas in ever more difficult environments, such as in shale gas plays in the US and in deepwater drilling fields worldwide, the addition of Smith's assets further strengthened Schlumberger's position as the world's largest supplier of technology, information services, and integrated project management to the oil and gas industry. As as result of the deal the company operated five business segments: Schlumberger Oilfield Services, WesternGeco, M-I SWACO, Smith Oilfield, and Distribution.
Waiting for the giant Smith purchase to go through did not slow down Schlumberger's acquisitive ways. To expand its portfolio of services, earlier in 2010 the company spent $1 billion to acquire Nexus Geosciences, which delivers integrated seismic software and services for data imaging, modeling, and analysis. That same year, Schlumberger acquired IGEOSS, a developer of structural geology software. IGEOSS applications and expertise were integrated with existing Schlumberger software to provide advanced modeling capabilities, particularly in areas with complex geology.