Based on information obtained from our customers along with an internal review that assessed applicability, degree of impact, and risk, Schlumberger has identified three environmental issues that are material to our business. Unintended releases to the environment, our top material risk, includes both well integrity and container integrity. We also continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and optimize our water use.
A properly constructed well creates barriers crucial to reducing the risk of uncontrolled release of formation fluids. Ensuring well integrity requires a thorough understanding of the short- and long-term conditions that the well might encounter, knowledge that enables optimization of the well design from the very beginning. Schlumberger has a portfolio of unique cementing technologies and logging tools for ensuring and evaluating well integrity.
Zonal isolation is created and maintained in the wellbore through the cementing process. Cement supports and protects well casings and helps prevent fluids in one zone from mixing with fluids in another zone. Cement systems that help establish zonal isolation work in a variety of reservoir conditions and remain in place throughout the life of the well. Schlumberger cementing technologies provide a wide range of solutions to achieve zonal isolation.
To prevent unplanned discharges, we also test the integrity of our containers on a regular basis, taking into consideration the unique conditions of each container, including its existing condition, age, service history, original construction specifications, and previous inspection results.
We have developed a Well Integrity Barrier Standard containing 10 critical requirements that employees must follow on the job. Development of this standard was a company-wide initiative to raise awareness and impose mandatory rules that define the minimum requirements for training, certification, and knowledge of the barriers we provide.
We also identified a risk assessment methodology to ensure that sufficient controls are in place to prevent the failure of any barriers we provide to our customers. Focusing on process safety, the new methodology uses risk evaluation to analyze and demonstrate causal relationships in high-risk scenarios. We developed two corporate risk assessments: one for undesired events, such as the unplanned loss of a Schlumberger-provided barrier, and one for the loss of containment.
Regularly scheduled inspections, evaluations, and testing of bulk storage containers by qualified personnel are critical parts of discharge prevention. Our inspection and testing program involves an external visual inspection along with extensive testing and examination to evaluate container integrity. These inspections are site-specific and they meet or exceed industry standards.
The Schlumberger Environmental Management Standard establishes a minimum level of protection for all primary containers by using secondary containment, spill preparedness and response, and prohibitions of certain activities. This requirement is implemented even when local regulatory requirements set a lower standard.
Schlumberger provides a broad range of technologies and services that our customers can use to help them reduce emissions during the development of oil and gas fields. Lower emissions are achieved by reducing delivery of resources such as proppant and water to the wellsite, and by drilling wells faster and more efficiently. In 2017 we directed significant effort at increasing the accuracy of our emissions measurements by adding more data sources, implementing more accurate measuring systems, and expanding the geographic scope of our emissions scrutiny. This work is now leading to new opportunities for better emissions management. We also began implementing the recommendations of a third-party auditor following an audit of our emissions profile.
Responsible water management is key to our operations and the growth of our company. Through corporate engagement, facility management, and technological innovation, Schlumberger recognizes the importance of water to our company as well as to civilizations around the world. By incorporating next-generation technologies and services to prepare for a future water-stressed world, we are anticipating a transition within our industry to meet evolving regulatory measures.
Schlumberger began taking water management to a new level in 2017 by developing a water-use model for facilities that is improving reporting on water use and helping reduce consumption.
The project began by identifying high-water-use facilities in the Rocky Mountains. Researchers studied water use patterns at those facilities between May 2016 and June 2017, dividing it into four categories: domestic, vehicle washing, irrigation, and facility specific services. People’s water-use habits were incorporated into the model, as were wash bay flow rates and vehicle washing frequencies for light and heavy vehicles. Irrigation logistics obtained from facility personnel included type of irrigation (drip or sprinkler), system flow rates, number of zones, times for each zone, and irrigation frequency.
By comparing water model estimates with monthly invoiced water charges at each facility, managers can identify excess consumption patterns caused by poor efficiencies or underground leaks, and put strategies in place to reduce consumption.