Our third annual rankinng of the top oilfield services companies in the region was topped, once again, by global giant Schlumberger.
Schlumberger is an industry titan that needs no introduction, and it has held on to the top spot on this list since it was first introduced in 2017. Its portfolio of products and services is exhaustive, and its focus on the Middle East has only grown with time, as opportunities in the region flourish.
Schlumberger generated $32.8bn of revenue in 2018, reporting net income of $2.1bn, a giant leap from its $1.5bn loss in 2017. Despite its already wide portfolio, Schlumberger generated 23% of its revenue in 2018 from new technologies, in line with the previous year.
This year saw Schlumberger introduce technologies including the HyperBlade hyperbolic diamond element bit, GyroSphere MEMS gyro-while drilling service, and Fulcrum cement-conveyed frac performance technology, among others.
Meanwhile, international revenue grew faster than its North America revenue in the third quarter of 2018 for the first time since 2014, as the oil price dropped and US producers slashed spending. Before that quarter, it saw three consecutive years of declining international revenue. This comes as national oil companies make investments into long-term asset development and optimisation.
Schlumberger deployed 80 rigs on projects in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, India, Norway, and Russia, which should translate into growth for the coming years. In April 2019, it sold its onshore drilling rigs business in Kuwait, Oman, Iraq, and Pakistan to TAQA Drilling subsidiary Arabian Drilling Company for $415mn.
On the technology front, Schlumberger has open sourced its data ecosystem, allowing collection, integration, management, and discovery of upstream oil and gas data, a contribution to the Open Subsurface Data Universe Forum.
The company also partnered with fellow list member Rockwell Automation to create a new automation solutions provider, Sensia, in a $250mn joint venture agreement. The joint venture will be a fully integrated provider of measurement solutions, domain expertise, and automation to the oil and gas industry.
It was a strong year for digital partnerships, as Schlumberger signed another agreement, with OMV, to evaluate potential collaboration models for digital solutions, which would give OMV early access to new digital technology.
Paal Kibsgaard, who saw Schlumberger through some of the oil and gas industry’s darkest days in recent history, and helped to modernise the company, has retired after eight years as the company’s CEO (and more than two decades with Schlumberger).
Under the watch of its newly appointed CEO, Olivier Le Peuch, with 32 years of experience at Schlumberger, we will see how the company fares in the coming year.