Heavy Oil | Schlumberger

Heavy Oil

Massive reserves, technical challenges, and huge rewards

Some of the world’s largest reserves are heavy oil reservoirs. With oil in place equal to the largest conventional oil fields in the Middle East, heavy oil reserves are found in more than 30 countries around the globe.

Our focus is improving the development and exploitation of deposits in existing heavy oil regions and increasing recovery from underdeveloped deposits. This requires balancing economics and reducing the energy requirements and environmental footprint of producing these reserves.

Modern sample analysis laboratories located around the world provide rapid, accurate rock and fluid property information

Heavy oil resources are twice those of conventional oil.

The main challenge of heavy oil is not finding the resources but in extracting, recovering, producing, and selling heavy crudes within often changing economic guidelines. To bring these extensive reserves into economic viability, all parameters, disciplines, and personnel need to be optimized to work in perfect sync for exceptional operations. We have the expertise and technologies to cover all the reservoir, drilling, completions, and production bases and bring heavy oil recovery within practical reach.


Model reservoir geology and flow with expert interpretation and consulting.

Once EOR methods have been deployed, planning and implementing the most efficient strategy for full field development requires good quality data, expert analysis, and regular review. Overall project economics can be significantly enhanced by accurate modeling with the industry's most diverse portfolio of software solutions.


Finite-element geomechanics simulator

Better understand geomechanical risks and optimize production.


High-resolution reservoir simulator

Gain new insight with high-resolution reservoir simulation.


Dynamic multiphase flow simulator

Use the industry-standard tool for dynamic multiphase flow simulation.

Reservoir Description

Plot out a target-by-target production strategy.

Generally, heavy oil targets are known with depths identified and a general idea of the API gravity. So the key question is, which target within a field do you evaluate first?

The technical challenges in preliminary evaluation of heavy oil are often related to accurately understanding the reservoir geology, petrophysics, and geomechanics. This knowledge helps to evaluate, model, and simulate various EOR methods to determine which would provide the best results, with minimal environmental impact. By understanding key reservoir characteristics, you can better predict fluid flow and ultimate recovery volume. With this information, you can prioritize and further evaluate your asset using concept-to-full-field methodologies to ensure the best-possible ROI.

Reservoir Laboratories

Comprehensive physical and digital rock and fluid analysis services

Make timely reservoir decisions with accurate, precise results from our services, technologies, and expertise.


Geophysics expertise, seismic data, and digital capabilities

Accelerate hydrocarbon discovery throughout the life of the reservoir—from exploration through EOR.

Dielectric Scanner

Multifrequency dielectric dispersion service

Acquire measurements that speak volumes.

MR Scanner

Expert magnetic resonance service

Obtain NMR measurement of porosity, permeability, and fluid volumes independent of the rock matrix.


Crosswell seismic imaging service

Achieve seismic imaging at the reservoir scale.

Sonic Scanner

Acoustic scanning platform

Gain acoustic insight to anisotropy and formation geomechanics in wells at any angle.

Well Construction

Accurately place and construct your producer, injector, and monitor wells.

There are three main objectives when constructing and completing heavy oil wells: accurate well placement, wellbore stability and longevity, and production efficiency. Typical heavy oil fields will likely undergo thermal recovery, but some operators are piloting and evaluating alternative hybrid thermal-solvent recovery methods, such as gas- or solvent-assisted methods, to reduce energy demands of production. Careful consideration must be given to applying technologies that will yield the most value.

PeriScope HD

Multilayer bed boundary detection service

Detect multiple formation layers and fluid boundary positions for advanced well placement.

ThermaSTONE Thermally Responsive Cement System

Ensure long-term integrity in heavy oil and geothermal wells

Prevent cement failure with thermally responsive cement systems that expand and contract in high pressures and temperatures.


Maximize your project's value through its entire lifecycle.

Optimizing recovery, managing cost, and meeting environmental standards in thermal projects make achieving economic success a complex challenge. Flow assurance and equipment abrasion are the two main challenges in thermal operations, and the choice of artificial lift will vary with every project. Many of the completions challenges associated with heavy oil revolve around sand management, which impacts production and long-term profitability.

REDA Hotline

High-temperature ESP motors

Increase production in heavy oil, gassy wells, and other extreme heat environments.

Progressing Cavity Pumps (PCPs)

Lower operating and capital costs

Efficiently handle high-sand-cut wells and high-viscosity fluids with lower power consumption than other lift methods.

Horizontal Surface Pumps

Multistage surface pumping systems

Achieve more power and flexibility with the REDA HPS G3 horizontal multistage pumping system—up to 2,500 hp in a single unit.

WellWatcher BriteBlue HT

High-temperature multimode DTS fiber

Enhance production management with reservoir surveillance in wells up to 572 degF [300 degC] and with hydrogen.

Liner Hangers

Improved well construction efficiency

Enhance well integrity in applications from deepwater to land with cemented, uncemented, and expandable liner hangers.

Sand Screens and Inflow Control Devices (ICDs)

Versatile, robust, reliable technology for sand control

Optimize your sand control completion with robust, fit-for-purpose sand screens and inflow control devices.

Production Optimization

Manage data, simulation, and equipment for ongoing operational optimization.

Ongoing operational optimization is maximized through managed use of data, simulation, and equipment. Our systems enable you to continually update geologic and reservoir models, design and model right-sized surface facilities, and maintain planned production.

We offer Symmetry process software platform, a comprehensive simulator that captures all aspects of your models from reservoir to product distribution. The Symmetry platform is built using industry-proven simulation technologies that have been optimized to scale to your thermal operation.


Integrated chemical management software

See how real-time information optimizes performance.

Surface Multiphase Flowmetering

Real-time multiphase flow rate measurement

Accurately measure the full spectrum of multiphase flow rates while monitoring and evaluating production in real time with a compact flowmeter specifically designed for topside and land applications.

Integrated Services Management

Complex operations—streamlined

Simplify communication in complex operations with integrated technologies and project management.

Schlumberger Production Management

Develop and comanage your assets

Partner with us for new and mature field development through long-term production incentives–based commercial agreements.

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