Schlumberger is committed to responsible stewardship of the world in which we live. We strive to meet international environmental standards and regulations and to exceed customer expectations by managing risk, preventing pollution, minimizing waste and natural resource consumption, and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
The information that follows describes the actions we are taking to minimize risk and reduce emissions and waste, and the technologies that are helping our customers reduce their environmental footprint.
As a global technology leader, we believe that our ability to address climate change issues with new and innovative technologies and increased operational performance is integral to the energy industry’s global initiative to reduce carbon footprint. Schlumberger technologies are already directly and indirectly helping our customers reduce or avoid emissions, lower water usage, improve chemistry applications, and increase oil and gas production using fewer resources. Our corporate strategy includes the development of advanced technologies for faster drilling, reduced surface and subsurface footprint, and improved reservoir recovery and production, all of which contribute to lowering resource requirements and creating fewer emissions per hydrocarbon unit produced.
We align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of reducing environmental impacts and fostering technology innovation, and we continue efforts to advance internal data collection with the intention of addressing climate change through annual improvement in measuring and managing our carbon footprint.
To eliminate, minimize, mitigate, and manage significant ecosystem or biodiversity impacts, Schlumberger has developed a risk-based procedure for the creation of ecosystem and biodiversity management plans. These plans protect sensitive wildlife areas, ﬂora and fauna, ecosystems, and conservation areas. They also prevent the introduction of invasive species; establish conditions to facilitate the rehabilitation or restoration of land areas impacted by Schlumberger operations and project activities; detail any local regulations requiring reporting on ecosystem and biodiversity management activities; and are reviewed periodically to ensure continued applicability.
Through its Design for HSE program, Schlumberger designs and manages its operations to minimize impact on ecosystems and biodiversity across the life cycle of each facility, activity, product or service. Monitoring ecosystem and biodiversity impact takes place throughout the life cycle of the project or facility. Medium- to high-level risk controls are applied when Schlumberger operations are located in environmentally sensitive areas, have a potential for significant wildlife loss, have the possibility to introduce invasive species, or could impact a large body of land or water.
As far as reasonably practical, Schlumberger uses existing infrastructure to avoid or reduce the need for land clearance for construction. Where practical, new Schlumberger infrastructure is not sited in environmentally sensitive areas. The Company strives to minimize environmental disturbance; restrict movement of machinery and equipment during work activities; plan land restoration; and schedule activities that may cause disruption and disturbance to wildlife to avoid sensitive periods of the year.
An example includes the use of brush cutters rather than bulldozers to alleviate the impact on vegetation which often bears the brunt of seismic acquisition on land. Brush cutters leave roots undisturbed and foster a more rapid return of vegetation. They also can help protect fragile desert dunes, as well as Arctic permafrost. Similarly, mulch cutters reduce the environmental impact of seismic operations. The mulch layer prevents rutting of the surface as the seismic vehicles pass, which in turn helps prevent erosion and alteration of local drainage patterns. The mulch layer left behind effectively protects the rootstock and nourishes the topsoil, helping promote rapid regeneration of vegetation during the next season’s growth.
As another example, WesternGeco, a Schlumberger company, joined forces with Teledyne Bolt, the largest manufacturer and supplier of marine seismic data acquisition equipment, to develop eSourceTM. By combining WesternGeco expertise in marine acoustics with the design and manufacturing experience of Teledyne Bolt, the world’s first bandwidth-controlled seismic source was developed specifically to address environmental concerns. By using a sophisticated mechanical filter to limit the high-frequency emissions that are believed to be the most disturbing to marine life, eSource reduces this unwanted source noise while delivering optimal imaging results and maintaining the lower frequencies that are critical to accurate seismic exploration. The design specification for the eSource pulse shape and spectrum was based upon well-established bioacoustical criteria for marine mammal injury. These criteria take account of the measured hearing abilities of different species of marine mammal and on the level of sound that can potentially cause trauma, and the resulting potential trauma zones around the source are significantly reduced in size. As part of the agreement for this joint development, the entire seismic industry and academia will be able to access the technology through purchase of eSource from Teledyne Bolt.
Schlumberger uses a ﬂexible, risk-based approach to manage and mitigate the environmental aspects and impacts of its activities, products, and services. The diverse nature of these environmental aspects and impacts requires a ﬂexible approach. Our commitment to environmental protection, as described in our HSE risk policy and the Schlumberger Blue Print in Action–Our Code of Conduct, requires that a minimum standard of environmental performance is established at all of the Company’s facilities, regardless of local regulatory requirements.
Our environmental risk management program uses a combination of 14 Fundamental Controls that are implemented in all of our workplaces, and 12 Risk-Based Controls that are implemented to manage the environmental aspects and impacts of a specific business activity. The requirements for Risk-Based Controls are described in business-specific environmental risk assessments for each of our geographical regions and business Segments. Each of our worksites uses this risk assessment to create a documented, site-specific environmental program that describes which controls are applicable to the site and how those controls are implemented.
Implementation of the environmental management program is supported by management systems and processes described in our corporate standards and by a number of web-based IT systems designed to collect and manage environmental performance data, regulatory compliance documentation, and procedural documents.
Our environmental management program includes a number of processes that provide assurance of internal conformance to our own requirements, and assurance of external compliance to applicable regulatory requirements. These assurance processes are documented and subject to periodic internal review.
The Schlumberger environmental management program has been developed to align with the requirements of our external stakeholders, including our customers and regulatory agencies in the countries where we operate. To support those stakeholders, we have developed our program to include the requirements of two recognized independent environmental management standards—the International Standards Organization ISO14001:2015, and the environmental components of the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) Environmental & Social Performance Standards. Furthermore, a third-party organization has completed a review of our program’s alignment to those two standards.
Operational integrity at Schlumberger is about ensuring that the company is able to deliver safe, efficient, and reliable products and services for our customers. Schlumberger is committed to achieving a tenfold improvement in operational reliability by 2020. In addition, our multiyear transformation program benefitted field operations through increased efficiency, improved reliability, and reduced nonproductive time. Working more efficiently, doing things right the first time, and lowering nonproductive time (NPT) helps our customers reduce emissions.
Schlumberger developed a chemical disclosure process for hydraulic fracturing, called the “systems approach,” in 2010. Five years later the process was adopted by Frac Focus, a United States and Canadian registry for public disclosure of fracturing chemistry, with the goal of improving industry-wide transparency rates. After seven years and nearly 20,000 disclosures by Schlumberger, our industry-leading rate of disclosure for chemical constituents continues to be almost 100%.
In 2016, Schlumberger became the first company to join the IPIECA in its new category of Associate Member, which is open to oilfield service companies and engineering, procurement, and construction contractors. IPIECA is the industry’s principle channel of communication with the United Nations on sustainability programs. IPIECA develops, shares, and promotes good practice and knowledge to help the industry improve its environmental and social performance, and is the only global industry association of its kind for the oil and gas sector.
Schlumberger continues to quantify environmental data and identify ways to reduce it. For years, we have engaged with PwC to audit our methodology for quantifying direct and indirect GHG emissions linked to our operations around the world. As a part of this process, PwC auditors reviewed our processes and procedures and verified selected environmental and health and safety data. Environmental data audited in 2016 includes Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions of greenhouse gases, waste production, water consumption, spills, and energy consumption. Health and safety data includes employee and contractor lost time injuries and illnesses and the associated work hours to determine frequencies and rates. PwC has expressed a limited assurance that our data are in all material respects fairly presented and in accord with Schlumberger guidelines.
Schlumberger activities, products, and services are designed, procured, and used with a goal of efficiently managing resource consumption across the life cycle. Through increased internal resource efficiency, we are finding new ways to reduce emissions. The rigor now present in emissions reporting and auditing has led to the inclusion of the amount of emissions being stated as a function of total revenue as well as per employee per year.
Streamlined Supply Chain
Schlumberger Supply Chain Services works with more than 50,000 third-party suppliers to coordinate supply chain logistics and meet global demand for goods and services. We have the largest supply chain in the oil and gas services industry, and we spend several billion dollars annually on it. We continue to reduce our transportation-related greenhouse gases by increasing quality control procedures and choosing suppliers who are closer to field operations.
Our global strategy for sourcing and supply chain encourages local engagement and regional industrial development. We hire locally where possible; this practice helps to ensure a receptive atmosphere in foreign markets, and it helps expand our global footprint in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development goals to end poverty in all its forms everywhere, and to promote full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Lowering Fuel Consumption and Emissions
As part of its Marine Energy Management Plan, WesternGeco is building all new vessels using the latest energy-efficiency improvements. Two retired vessels have been replaced with next-generation Amazon-class vessels equipped with Tier II engines. These now conform to the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) and to DNV Green Passport recommendations.
Reducing Vehicle Fleet Emissions
To reduce fleet emissions, we have instituted several new measures. We established a systematic program for improving gear ratios in trucks and tractors; improving gear ratios lowers engine revolutions per minute and thus reduces fuel consumption. We installed idle shutdown timers on tractors used in fracturing operations to reduce fuel consumption and associated emissions at wellsites. We switched many of our hydraulic fracturing pumps to bi-fuel. Whenever possible, as we procure and produce new nonroad engines, we are upgrading them to Tier 4 emissions compliance. Finally, we have taken a much more direct approach to lowering overall emissions for our current fracturing pump fleet; we now analyze the performance characteristics of each fracturing pump engine and create tools that actively guide operations to the lowest fuel consumption. To date, these efforts have reduced fuel consumption by 3% to 5%, and we expect to see similar results as we incorporate these measures across the entire fleet.
Water is an integral component of oil and gas development. Recognizing the need for a balanced approach to water use, Schlumberger leverages our extensive oilfield experience and technologies with teams of water and geoscience expertise to help increase water efficiencies. Novel completion technologies such as the Broadband Precision* integrated completion service and the Broadband Sequence* fracturing service are helping our clients improve the effectiveness of stimulation treatments and optimize water usage in their operations. By increasing water efficiency, these innovative technologies are enabling our customers to operate in water-stressed and environmentally sensitive areas. Water is used in our engineering centers and field operations facilities for equipment manufacturing and for cleaning of equipment, as well as for camp and catering purposes. Data for water consumption in approximately 70% of our facilities, not including North America, is presented in the graph below.
To manage waste materials more efficiently, Schlumberger is constantly improving processes and materials. We reuse materials when possible, recycle more for our own operations and for our customers, and use our novel technologies to find new recovery methods. We continue to seek opportunities to reduce both our direct consumption of resources and the waste we generate.
Procedures are in place to minimize, respond to, and control the environmental impact of uncontained spills at Company worksites and at some third-party controlled worksites. In response to year-on-year changes, we have reviewed our processes and procedures and continue to provide training to minimize unplanned releases of oil and chemicals to the environment.
Schlumberger is working to improve energy efficiency through product development while also addressing the energy challenges facing our customers in the oil and gas industry. In the United Kingdom and Norway, we have been conducting energy audits of our facilities and implementing energy-reduction measures based on those audits. When sourcing energy, our supply chain organization evaluates logistics, local resource scarcity, and potential impacts on the environment, particularly in North America and for WesternGeco. When possible, we purchase energy-efficient equipment and procure electricity from a sustainable source.
In the United Kingdom, for a number of years Schlumberger has been purchasing 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources under the Climate Change Levy (CCL). However, that program was phased out by the government, and in 2016 Schlumberger and many other companies operating in the U.K. no longer qualified for the CCL exemption to purchase renewable electricity.
As part of an ongoing effort to improve data collection, we have expanded raw material data to include global consumption of proppants, brines, cement, barite, and bentonite. While raw material utilization typically follows changes in wellsite activity, the 45% year-on-year increase is primarily a reﬂection of expanding our data collection.