As the global population rises, and energy demand increases in both the developed and developing worlds, the industry stands at a critical juncture. How will it address climate change while meeting the growing energy demands of the 21st century? Today, this is no longer a question, but rather a new industry imperative that compels a more sustainable approach for developing the planet’s energy resources.
Schlumberger recently announced its Decarbonization Plan, laying out its commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, across the entire oil and gas value chain. This plan, which aligns with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, focuses on reducing Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, with minimal reliance on offsets (e.g., carbon credits).
As part of this plan, Schlumberger has committed to specific GHG emission reduction targets and introduced a portfolio of Transition Technologies to help accelerate the path to net zero for the energy industry. This new portfolio, comprised of proprietary technologies and solutions, will address customer Scope 1 and 2 emissions related to the use of Schlumberger’s technologies, while simultaneously enabling the company to meet its Scope 3 emissions target, which represents seventy-five percent of its baseline GHG footprint.
The Transition Technologies portfolio will help minimize emissions and reduce energy consumption, as well as address other key sustainability attributes, while simultaneously driving efficiency, reliability and performance.
With the aim of enabling more sustainable operations for customers, Schlumberger’s engineers conducted a portfolio screening in 2020 that identified more than 100 impact-reducing technologies.
To quantify the impact of these technologies, the company developed a robust quantification framework, using eight attributes to establish a standardized measurement system for comparative analysis:
Initially, the quantification framework was used to rank and prioritize technologies to determine which would have the strongest impact. Today, it is being used to continuously vet new technologies for inclusion in the Transition Technologies portfolio, and it is also being embedded into Schlumberger’s R&D process. Ultimately, the framework enables benchmarking through net footprint comparisons of various technologies to inform the best, impact-reducing solution for the customer.
With both sustainability and performance in mind, the Transition Technologies portfolio was divided into five themes that target a wide range of sustainability challenges and opportunities across exploration through to production:
Some of the commercial Transition Technologies now available include the Ora intelligent wireline formation testing platform’s deep transient testing (DTT) and sampling capabilities, Rapid multilateral systems, and zero-flaring well test for cleanup and well testing operations.
The Ora platform’s DTT capabilities can replace traditional drill stem tests (DSTs) for a variety of applications. With the industry’s highest flow rate for a wireline formation tester and unique fluid handling capabilities, the technology offers a viable alternative with a substantially reduced low carbon footprint, and has in many cases been used to meet reserves booking criteria.
Rapid multilateral systems maximize the use of existing infrastructure to add laterals, increase reserves and minimize the need for additional drilling activities, avoiding emissions.
Zero-flaring well test eliminates flaring-related emissions for both cleanup and well testing operations, using an integrated hardware setup to connect the hydrocarbon flow to production facilities.
In Oman, BP eliminated 80,000 t of CO2 emissions for their Khazzan project using a fit-for-basin well cleanup solution that enabled zero flaring of new wells to a central production facility.
In Norway, RapidX junctions helped Vår Energy avoid between 5,000–10,000 t of CO2 emissions by retrofitting two existing wells in order to access additional reserves in the remote Barents Sea. This avoided the need to drill two new wells.
As the industry progresses toward both short- and long-term decarbonization goals, Schlumberger is committed to becoming a true net-zero company, working closely with its customers to improve their performance in a sustainable way, and advancing the decarbonization of our entire industry. The Transition Technologies portfolio will continue growing as Schlumberger qualifies additional technologies and embeds sustainability into its R&D programs, providing customers with more alternatives to traditional technologies across the value chain—enabling a net-zero energy future.