Olivier Le Peuch Speaks at Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference 2021 | SLB

Le Peuch Speaks at Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference 2021

Published: 06/02/2021

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Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I am pleased to join you at the 37th annual Strategic Decisions Conference, and I would like to thank Bob Brackett and Bernstein for the invitation to speak with you for the first time.

I am excited to talk with you today about our company, Schlumberger, because I believe we have a unique opportunity to create considerable value in a very compelling time in our industry.

But first, let me remind you that some of the statements I will be making are forward-looking and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our results to materially differ from those projected in these statements. I therefore refer you to our latest 10-K and other SEC filings.

Let me begin with a short introduction of Schlumberger in the emerging energy landscape.

Schlumberger is a technology company with a $43.8B market capitalization and deep focus in energy. Our people solve complex energy challenges with science and engineering, and we operate at a global scale with expertise in over 120 countries. We participate in three technology domains, each with its own growth dynamics, for which we have differentiated capabilities and intellectual property.

First, technology for oil and gas exploration, development, and production is our core, where we have led innovation and commercialization at scale for nearly a century. We design and deploy services and products that help our customers create value from oil and gas assets by establishing or enhancing production. The future of our core offering will be led by low-carbon technologies, in line with our commitment to play a key role helping our customers deliver on global climate action goals while supplying affordable energy to the world.

Second, we are a leader in digital solutions, which are a necessity in today’s energy industry to deliver a step change in performance and efficiency—from the use of AI-enabled workflows, to edge compute and IoT in the field. We launched the first digital platform for the industry, which is being widely adopted, and is helping our customers transition to cloud-based operations that maximize the value of their people, data, and assets.

Finally, with the launch of Schlumberger New Energy, we are creating a portfolio of ventures in low-carbon and carbon-neutral energy sectors across the transition—including green hydrogen, lithium, carbon capture and storage (CCS), geothermal, and geoenergy.

We have very comprehensive market participation, a highly diversified customer base, and a portfolio of offerings across these three technology domains.

Now, let me share with you our view of these growth opportunities across our portfolio.

Energy demand is tied to economic cycles and historically aligns very closely with GDP growth.

In the context of the growing economic rebound, this upcoming industry cycle can potentially be characterized as a super cycle. It will be broad-based, across geographies and operational environments—land, offshore, North America, and particularly international markets—and it occurs at a pivotal time of digital transformation and energy transition.

The combination of demand-led growth in oil and gas, digital enablement, and accelerated investment in lower-carbon energy will create the conditions for sustained growth in the energy industry—now and in decades to come.

The long-term fundamentals of oil and gas are strong, and each will have an important role to play in the future energy mix. With robust implementation of renewables as projected in the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario, there remains a favorable outlook for oil and gas in the near-to-medium term, with significant investment required to bring additional oil and gas to market and offset production decline.

At the same time, accelerated development of low-carbon and carbon-neutral renewable energy sources will also generate significant investment, creating an environment of sustained growth for the energy industry as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy.

This cycle is also distinct because companies across energy are now investing in digital transformation, focused on elevating performance and efficiency.

In this context, our opportunity is to provide our customers around the world with technology, services, and digital enablement to unlock access to energy with lower environmental impact, while continuing to respect and collaborate with the communities where we live and work.

I would like to take a few minutes to share my perspective on the growth opportunity ahead of us across strategic time horizons.

In our core oil and gas technology Divisions, the upcycle will create an attractive growth rate over the next several years. As the market leader, we have an advantaged position from which to capture this growth given our technology, size, and international strength. Our returns-focused strategy and industry leading execution will create differentiated returns and has already led to three consecutive quarters of improving margins and delivered strong free cash flow ahead of the upcycle.

Second, our digital platform will amplify what we achieve in the core. Digital is a market with explosive growth in its own right, which will be sustained into the midterm. We see our digital offering expanding beyond our core, driving further decarbonization and low-carbon opportunities. We are a leading digital supplier in our industry with a very large customer base, and strategic partnerships with best-in-class digital partners. Through these partnerships, we are scaling our platform strategy, removing barriers to adoption, and bringing cloud infrastructures to every customer in every basin. Our industry is transforming, and for Schlumberger, digital is unlocking new revenue streams and enhancing returns.

And in new energy, building on our energy domain and our technology foundations, we have already begun to create a differentiated, asset-light portfolio of sustainable energy ventures for long-term growth.

We believe, indeed, that our future should expand into low- and carbon-neutral energy and are using our technology capabilities to create leadership positions in this energy transition market.

Each of these elements of our portfolio, which comprise differentiated technology and services, is forecasted to have a double-digit CAGR over their respective strategic time horizons.

Stacked together, this is a compelling opportunity that we are prepared to turn into outperformance.

Let me briefly break this opportunity down by time horizon, starting with the present.

With oil demand projected to reach pre-2019 levels by the end of 2022 and supply tightening, our oil and gas business is on the verge of an exceptional growth cycle. Given our unique position and strategy, we are positioned to deliver outstanding returns in the short and medium term.

First, the shape of the recovery and the source of activity during this growth cycle will create a favorable revenue mix and growth potential for Schlumberger given our leading technology portfolio and unmatched international footprint—leveraging particularly our fit-for-basin technology approach and our expanding decarbonization solutions portfolio.

Second, in conjunction with our performance strategy and returns-focused commitment, we have reorganized the company and created a unique operating leverage that will drive margin expansion through the cycle.

Third, our digital investments and leadership are delivering enhanced efficiency in our own operations while providing a highly accretive growth engine through our digital revenue streams.

The combination of these factors will deliver double-digit growth in this upcoming recovery, and our ambition is to outperform both margins expansion and cashflow generation when compared with previous upcycles.

Next, I would like highlight how our digital strategy is contributing to our value proposition in and beyond this next growth cycle.

Digital transformation and unlocking the power of data are the keys to improving performance in the energy sector and industry at large.

Schlumberger has long understood this opportunity and has been driving performance through digital technologies in the oil and gas domain for more than three decades. As the industry moved to rapidly adopt and scale digital solutions, we deployed a platform strategy to enable our customers to accelerate the benefits they can realize through digital.

Our platform strategy is both leading and highly differentiated—allowing customers to transform their workflows, optimize their operations, and unlock the value of their data—all aligned with our customers’ quest for a step-change in organizational efficiency and operational performance. Schlumberger possesses the breadth and domain knowledge required to deliver such a comprehensive and transformative platform, which our customers are leveraging. Our digital strategy is also built on the industry’s open data ecosystem, which Schlumberger both developed and contributed to the industry consortium, to accelerate the digital transformation in the oil and gas sector.

With our openness and leading domain knowledge—both in digital and energy—Schlumberger is the trusted and preferred partner for both global energy companies and digital service providers. This is evidenced by the numerous agreements and awards we have recently announced with both leading oil and gas operators, as in the announcement with PETRONAS this week, and cloud-service providers—such as the announcement last month with Amazon Web Services.

Our unique value proposition and platform strategy, coupled with our ability to scale digital solutions in the energy domain, have positioned us to double our digital business in the medium term while delivering highly accretive margins.

Let me now share with you how we will capitalize on the opportunity presented by the energy transition.

In addition to our value proposition in the short and medium term, our investment in new energy will provide us with unique growth opportunities in the second half of the decade and beyond, from ventures in hydrogen, lithium, CCS, geothermal, and geoenergy.

Our approach to new energy is based on technology and partnerships. We are building on three core strengths—first, our unique subsurface domain expertise, applicable beyond oil and gas; second, our differentiated track record for innovation and industrialization, the DNA of our company; and last, our ability to deploy at scale in any country in the world with local knowledge and talent.

We have entered areas adjacent to our existing expertise and technology capabilities where we can differentiate, with partners that lead their respective industries.

Together, this venture portfolio presents significant growth opportunities in rapidly expanding low-carbon and carbon-neutral energy markets.

We have already achieved several key milestones in multiple ventures this year, laying the foundation for diverse exposure that will generate resilient growth across the longest strategic time horizon.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is an exciting time in the energy industry, which will fuel the upcoming economic growth cycle.

There is urgency to digitally transform, address climate change, and meet the energy demand in the short and medium term with more sustainable oil and gas, while the long-term fundamentals remain strong and the world transitions towards a new energy mix.

Schlumberger is a technology company driven by innovation, poised to capture growth now, throughout the decade, and beyond.

We are entering a growth cycle ready to leverage our core strengths, lead digital transformation, and use our new earnings power to deliver industry-leading returns while we drive performance sustainably.

Thank you.