Publication Type:

Web Article




Schlumberger (2010)







Schlumberger is one of the large companies being investigated by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee to see if the gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a hazard to groundwater drinking supplies.

Schlumberger employs over 77,000 people of more than 140 nationalities working in approximately 80 countries.

Reuters reported on May 19, 2010 that personnel from oilfield giant Schlumberger left BP’s Deepwater Horizon only hours before it exploded. Read the article here.

Although "Flaring" was used extensively in the Gulf of Mexico aftermath of the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion in April, 2010, Schlumberger published a 2002 report that recommends zero flaring in the Middle East.

The World Bank estimates that over 150 billion cubic metres of natural gas are flared or vented annually, an amount worth approximately 30.6 billion dollars, equivalent to 25 percent of the United States’ gas consumption or 30 percent of the European Union’s gas consumption per year. See World Bank, December 14, 2009. "World Bank, GGFR Partners Unlock Value of Wasted Gas".

See: Renee Schoof and Marisa Talylor. June 11, 2010. McClatchy. "Plan to burn excess oil from BP well raises health questions."

See: Energy & Commerce Committee Investigates Deepwater Horizon Rig Oil Spill

"Schlumberger Mississippi Canyon Block 252 Timeline". (PDF)

On April 18, 2010, a Schlumberger wireline cased hole crew arrives on Transocean Deepwater Horizon. Specifically, BP contracted with Schlumberger to be available to perform a cement bond log and set a bridge plug and/or cement retainer, should BP request those services.

At approximately 7:00 a.m., BP informs Schlumberger crew that no wireline cased hole services will be requested and BP sends Schlumberger crew home.

At approximately 11 :15 a .m., on April 20, 2010, the day of the BP well explosion, the Schlumberger crew departed Transocean Deepwater Horizon on regularly scheduled BP helicopter flight.

At 10:56 EDT, the fire on Deepwater Horizon started. It burned for more than a day and sank April 22, leading to 11 deaths and the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Schlumberger failed to advise public officials on how BP's actions, declining a wireline cased hole service might have prevented this disaster.

How can government regulators require that private contractors in the oil and gas industry blow the whistle on potentially global disasters? (Neil Zusman, 2010-08-13.)

See: Publication: Middle East & Asia Reservoir Review
Volume: No. 3, 2002
Publication Date: 01/01/2002

Download: Towards Zero Flaring (1.41 MB PDF)

An important issue in protecting the environment of the Gulf, which is no less fragile than elsewhere in the world, is the effect of hydrocarbon flaring from oil production operations. This causes many forms of pollution – noise, toxic gases, soot, acid rain and the production of carbon dioxide, the latter is one of the primary causes of global warming. In this article, Alp Tengirsek and Nashat Mohamed explain the progress of a project in Abu Dhabi that has already eliminated oil flaring during testing and production, with the ultimate aim of eliminating all hydrocarbon flaring within a year.

See: Stanley Reed. "The Stealth Oil Giant: Why Schlumberger, long a hired gun in oil-field services, is becoming a major force and scaring Big Oil". Business Week. 2008-01-03