Drilling Technology

Jeha ... commitment to technology and innovation

Jeha ... commitment to technology and innovation

Schlumberger focusing on integrated services delivery

Increased levels of integration enable operators to increase efficiency and optimise production while reducing cost per barrel, says ZIAD JEHA, Schlumberger president for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, in an interview with OGN


Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services company, has over the course of last year, successfully mobilised 25 land rigs to fulfil the well requirements of Saudi Aramco in multiple oil and gas fields.

'This was a worldwide record mobilisation where successful deployment of rigs, technology and equipment were achieved in less than seven months. Today, with 25 operating lump-sum turn-key (LSTK) rigs, Schlumberger has demonstrated how integration leads to improved efficiency, reliability and economical gains to our customers, which contributes to improving the total cost of ownership,' says Ziad Jeha, Schlumberger president for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Pointing out that in early 2018, Schlumberger was awarded the largest land rig integrated LSTK contract with Saudi Aramco, Jeha says that aside from the LSTK contract, Saudi Aramco awarded Schlumberger a three-year integrated production services contract for the provision of well stimulation and testing services for a conventional gas field in the South Area. The contract will include deployment of the BroadBand Sequence fracturing and OpenPath stimulation services.

Back in 2017, Schlumberger successfully completed an offshore integrated drilling contract for Bapco Exploration Division in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Jeha says in an interview with OGN.

The contract entailed drilling and fracturing offshore wells using new technologies for the first time in the reservoirs.

This work resulted in Bapco Exploration Division announcing the oil offshore discovery that holds an estimated 81.5 billion barrels of oil and 390 billion cubic metres of associated gas in place, he says.

The DrillPlan solution in the DELFI cognitive E&P environment forms part of a fully

 integrated well construction solution, which transforms the planning and

execution performance, efficiency, and quality of every well drilled

Excerpts from the interview:
What is Schlumberger’s current presence in Saudi Arabia?
Schlumberger has been operating in Saudi Arabia since the first wireline logging job took place in 1941. Today, the company supplies the most comprehensive range of oil and gas services in the region, from exploration through production, and integrated pore-to-pipeline solutions that optimise hydrocarbon recovery to deliver reservoir performance.

In Saudi Arabia, Schlumberger operates four oilfield services bases and facilities, two manufacturing plants and two centres: the Dhahran Carbonate Research Centre (SDCR), located in the eastern province of the kingdom, and the Middle East Centre of Reliability and Efficiency (CRE) in Dammam. Also, Schlumberger is in the process of building the first and the largest land rig manufacturing facility in King Salman Energy City.

As the first research centre established in the Dhahran Techno Valley, the SDCR continues to demonstrate leadership in its two core domains: geology and rock physics and production completion and recovery. Tasked with tackling local industry challenges through the development of customisable solutions, the centre plays a central role in the collaboration of major clients in the Middle East with Schlumberger operations, product lines and technology centres worldwide.

Being the largest state-of-the-art Schlumberger facility in the region, the CRE provides technology maintenance and refurbishing as well as drill bit manufacturing. The centre brings together teams of technology manufacturing and sustaining experts under the same roof to further enhance service delivery to regional customers.


Operational efficiency has always been imperative to oil and gas producers. What are key factors contributing to higher efficiency and how does Schlumberger address them?
Increased levels of integration enable operators to increase efficiency and optimise production while reducing cost per barrel. That is why Schlumberger focuses on the delivery of new technologies and business models that involve greater integration and collaboration with the industry key players. As our customers seek new ways of working, the adoption rate for integrated services is increasing.

It is not unusual for a number of Schlumberger business lines to be present at an operation, and there are benefits to operators from a high degree of integration and project management of their scope.

For one, this enables the acceleration of technology development and adoption by allowing the service company to select which technologies to use in wellbore when executing lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) contracts. Not only do these contracts align cost and risk on new technology deployment, they also bring significant business value to the operators. For example, in at least three projects in the Middle East, this model has achieved over 40 per cent reduction in drilling costs.

You mentioned the importance of deploying new technologies in the wellbore. What new technologies from Schlumberger were recently introduced to the local oil and gas industry?
One of the key advantages that Schlumberger continues to offer is the service industry’s longest and most comprehensive commitment to technology and innovation. This unique benefit has always motivated our customers to request the deployment of innovative solutions for the first time in this region.

In the reservoir evaluation domain, the QuantaGeo photorealistic reservoir geology service was successfully deployed in Saudi Arabia delivering highly detailed, core-like images that visually represent formation geology and provide nearly total circumferential coverage in 8-in boreholes.

Another indispensable reservoir characterisation technology that provides critical data for making changes in drilling and completion designs is the ThruBit through-the-bit logging services. These services make it possible to log geometrically complicated wells with greater reliability, at reduced risk, and in less time than alternative conveyance techniques.

Finally, our customers use the Muzic wireless telemetry technology as the industry’s fastest, most advanced system for achieving real-time bidirectional communication between surface and downhole. Using this technology enables real-time decision making during drillstem tests while improving the overall efficiency of testing operations.


What are the latest advances in drilling and production?
In the drilling domain, we have been successfully using the GeoSphere reservoir mapping-while-drilling service which has provided Saudi Aramco with a necessary depth of investigation for maximising reservoir exposure and refining field development plans. This current technology has now expanded to the GeoSphere 475 service that enables identifying the reservoir while geosteering slimhole operations within the target zone.

The RHELIANT thermally stable, flat-rheology drilling fluid system from M-I SWACO, a Schlumberger company, is used to improve wellbore stability, which translates into faster drilled sections. On the drill bits’ side, the new AxeBlade ridged diamond element bit has instantaneously improved ROP across multiple Saudi Aramco fields.

As for the gains in production, Schlumberger has been using 15,000-psi-rated completions equipment proven to meet customers’ production needs in deep reservoirs known for hostile downhole conditions.


Schlumberger has been staying at the forefront of digital evolution in the drilling sector. Can you comment on the latest developments?
Schlumberger introduced the DrillPlan coherent well construction planning solution as the first cloud-native application in the DELFI cognitive E&P environment. The new solution provides a new way of working to deliver higher-quality drilling programmes faster through the automation of repetitive tasks and validation of end-to-end workflows to ensure that the entire plan is coherent.

Deploying the DrillPlan solution on Saudi Aramco LSTK wells would reduce decision-making time and improve reliability while promoting collaboration between all stakeholders.


As part of Saudi Aramco’s In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) plan, what targets have been achieved so far?
In 2017, Schlumberger signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Aramco to develop an IKTVA roadmap in alignment with the kingdom’s economic vision for 2030. Since then Schlumberger has been awarded the Best Overall IKTVA Excellence Award for three years in a row, from 2016 to 2018.

The Schlumberger IKTVA roadmap capitalises on value creation that is at the core of this programme. This translates into cascading the IKTVA culture to local suppliers and working with international vendors to bring their businesses into the kingdom. By recruiting and training over 700 Saudi nationals in 2018, Schlumberger has proudly achieved a historical talent development milestone in just one year.

It gives me pride to emphasise that every year since the inception of the IKTVA programme, Schlumberger has exceeded the targets set by Saudi Aramco.




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