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. We help ensure success by setting clear objectives, measuring the results, and continuously improving the quality of our processes, services, and products.
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 innovative new 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.
Schlumberger has implemented a risk-based procedure that is part of our environmental standard for the management of ecosystem and biodiversity impacts. This procedure includes addressing biodiversity protection, preventing the migration of invasive species, and minimizing the footprint of our exploration and production operations. As one example, vegetation often bears the brunt of seismic acquisition on land, but using brush cutters rather than bulldozers can alleviate this impact. 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.
Health, safety, and respect for the environment are primary concerns within Schlumberger. The Schlumberger HSE Management System defines the principles by which we conduct our operations worldwide with regard to health, safety, and the environment, and it applies to all employees, customers, contractors, and third parties associated with our business. In 2014, the Company implemented a risk-based approach to environmental management designed to meet the requirements of international environmental management standards. This approach to managing the Company’s environmental aspects addresses the control and mitigation measures required for the activities that the Company conducts. It also addresses the services and products that the Company provides at customer and other third-party locations.
As a part of our multi-year transformation program, Schlumberger is committed to achieving a tenfold improvement in operational reliability by 2020. In 2015, we improved our nonproductive time (NPT) rate by 23% over 2014—a huge achievement given industry conditions at that time. Approximately 25% of the reliability issues our customers face stem from product reliability, where we have reduced our nonproductive time rate by 80%.
In 2010, Schlumberger pioneered a disclosure process for hydraulic fracturing chemistry known as the “systems approach.” This disclosure methodology, which allowed us to achieve an industry-leading transparency rate, has been adopted for use by FracFocus, a national registry created to provide public access to the reported chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing in the United States. Additionally, we have extended the systems approach to include the required regulatory disclosures of other wellsite chemistries such as drilling fluids and cement.
Schlumberger has been annually reporting to CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) since 2005, and during that time we have substantially improved our ability to manage greenhouse gas emissions through new technologies, better data collection, and a growing capability to accurately measure emissions. CDP rates companies on two measures: disclosure and performance.
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 spends several billion dollars annually with more than 40,000 third-party suppliers. With a global reach spanning all continents and geographic regions, ours is the largest supply chain in the oil and gas services industry. We are redefining our supply chain function by developing a global strategy for sourcing and supply chain.
One element of that plan is narrowing our focus to suppliers who are closer to field operations in all corners of the world. By ensuring our supplies to meet global logistics, we are reducing transportation-related greenhouse gases while also encouraging local engagement along with regional industrial development.
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 better manage waste materials, 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 wastes we generate. Waste management also includes procedures to control the minimization, recycling, and disposal of wastes associated with the Company’s activities or, separately, where waste management and treatment services are provided to a customer.
Spill prevention and response includes procedures to prevent, respond to, and control environmental impacts of uncontained spills at worksites that are controlled by the Company, or at third-party-controlled work sites where the Company is required to provide this type of procedure.
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.
Schlumberger purchases electrical energy in 85 countries around the world, and in 2015 we consumed 930,000 MWh of electricity worldwide. Of this amount, 25,108 MWh were generated in the United Kingdom as low-carbon electricity. On- and off-shore wind accounted for about 83% of the electricity Schlumberger used in 2015 in the UK, followed by hydro, landfill gas, and biomass.