Our History | Schlumberger
Our History

The Making of Schlumberger

Schlumberger was born of an idea—that if an electric field could be generated below ground, voltage measurements at the surface could be mapped to reveal subsurface structure. Following two years of lab and field testing, the first map of equipotential curves was recorded in 1912 using very basic equipment. The result confirmed the method while revealing underground features, such as bed boundaries and the direction of formation layer dips. This was crucial because the technique provided extra information that might be useful for locating subsurface structures forming traps for minerals such as oil and gas.

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Two decades and a world war would intercede before those seeds of logging would sprout, cultivating an entirely new approach to identifying geological formations consistent with oil- and gas-bearing structures, launching nearly a century-long legacy of innovation and precision.

1870s–1910s: An early passion
Conceiving an idea is one thing—but making it truly revolutionary means proving it, which often takes patience and perseverance.
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1920s: The First Well Log
Conrad Schlumberger further tests his idea, and together with his son-in-law, Henri Doll, a multidepth wellbore survey becomes the first electrical resistivity well log.
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1930s: Technology in Demand
The idea evolves from field testing to the very foundation of the modern Schlumberger. By the end of the 1930s, 140 logging teams spread throughout the world's oil-producing nations.
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1940s: New Frontiers
In 1940, Schlumberger made its USA home in Houston to take advantage of innovations in electronics. Combined with Marcel Schlumberger's continuing advancements in logging, applications expand beyond formation evaluation.
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1950s: New Technology, Strategic Acquisitions
The mid-twentieth century included strategic acquisitions, adding to the company's capabilities along with significant technology exploration and progressive methodology to ensure precision and accuracy.    
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1960s: From the Ocean Depths to the Moon
Our technology illuminated the ocean floor to find oil while helping recover a lost submarine. And we provided calculating machines and remote sensors to help NASA reach the moon.  
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1970s: The Exploration Boom
Evolving computer power and sophistication opened the door to computerized log interpretation. Combined with satellite transmission, it enabled remote data acquisition and quicker analysis just in time for crucial worldwide oil exploration.
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1980s: A Global Research Drive
With a keen eye on the digital future, we committed to developing a global research network and deployed the world's second largest internal corporate network. As well, slb.com was registered before the end of the decade.
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1990s: Revolutionary Products
The computer revolution was in high gear with growing computing power and expertise that lead to next-generation advancements in formation evaluation and wireline logging.
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2000s: Building on Core Strengths
Computing in the 1990s made innovations in the 2000s possible, driving innovation resulting in major reservoir characterization strides—from initial acquisition to reservoir simulation. Acquisitions also strengthened our core seismic offerings.
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2010s: The Integration of Technology
Our history and continuing efforts are dedicated to bringing it all together—data acquisition, analysis, technology development, and integration to improve operations in complex and extreme environments.
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