Geoservices was founded in France in 1958 by Gaston Rebilly, an entrepreneur who noticed a potential market for providing geological services in the country. Within two years he had been joined by Olivier Issenmann and Edouard Cochet completing the corporate management team that would stay in place for the next 37 years. During the early years the small team was based in Paris, working mainly on geological synthetic studies, aerial photo interpretation, field surveys and micropalaeontology.

The founders soon observed that a new service, known as ‘mud logging’, showed potential for real growth, and in the early 1960s they began to concentrate resources on developing this service. The first forays abroad were to Morocco, Algeria, Spain, Libya, Italy, the North Sea, Australia and West Africa. By the late 1960s, the company was operating in the Middle East around the Gulf, and had begun operations in Japan. It opened operations bases in Singapore for Southeast Asia and in Calgary for its North American operations. In 1975, a North American subsidiary, Geoservices Inc., was created in the U.S.A. and, from 1980, enlargement of activities in Latin America led to the creation of a regional base in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The high level of growth in the late 60s and 70s caused the company to relocate from Paris to larger premises outside Paris in 1973, close to the new Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport. In 1977 the company opened its production department, offering well testing, wireline, measuring and sampling services. Other new departments followed, in 1984 for drilling fluids, in 1985 for directional drilling and in 1987 for mud treatment.

Geoservices remained an independent company, wholly-owned by just a few individuals until October 1995, when new capital was injected by the first external investors. In 2000, one of the first major steps in a new business strategy was taken by selling off the directional drilling business. In 2005 the well testing business was sold. These strategic sales enabled the company to concentrate all its research and development resources on its core businesses: mud logging, well intervention and field surveillance services.

In 2005, the majority shareholding changed hands for the first time when the Astorg III financial fund took a 52% stake by way of a leveraged buyout. In 2007, several top management changes took place to support an ambitious expansion program over the coming five years.

Geoservices was acquired by Schlumberger in March 2010, adding mud logging technology to the existing Schlumberger portfolio— an important step in the development of higher-performance drilling systems.

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A Memorable Half-century

A Memorable Half-century
Download “A Memorable Half-century”, the book printed in 2008 to commemorate Geoservices 50 years of existence.