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Schlumberger y Gallucio

Schlumberger y Gallucio

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Published by Daniel Redondo
Nota que habla sobre los cambios en Shlumberger y menciona a Miguel Gallucio
Nota que habla sobre los cambios en Shlumberger y menciona a Miguel Gallucio

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Published by: Daniel Redondo on May 04, 2012
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Bloomberg BusinessweekSearch 
IN DEPTH
January 3, 2008, 5:00PM EST
The Stealth Oil Giant
Why Schlumberger, long a hired gun in oil-field services, isbecoming a major force and scaring Big Oil
byStanley Reed 
Pad 1b Lempyskoye is a pretty desolate spot. The drilling site for Russian oil giant Rosneft isn'tmuch more than a snow-covered clearing in the endless evergreen-and-birch forest 1,200 milesnortheast of Moscow. Its 37 staffers live in spartan trailers, and the lavatory is a rank hole in theground beneath a metal shack. In the winter, temperatures drop to 40F or lower, and in the springthe whole area thaws into a mosquito-infested swamp. As a drilling rig bores well after well deepinto the frozen Siberian earth, it is wrapped in green tarpaulin to protect workers from the wind andcold.Little indicates that oil services provider Schlumberger (SLB), a multinational giant withheadquarters in Paris and Houston, is in charge of drilling at Pad 1b. Nearly everyone wears thegreen jacket and overalls of the Schlumberger subsidiary in Russia that runs the rig, and there areno signs to indicate the foreign company's role in the project. When a board member recentlyfloated the idea of rebranding the Russian operations as Schlumberger, the local team rejected theproposal. "I don't see what we would gain," says Maurice Dijols, president of Schlumberger Russia."We need to keep the Russian identity."Schlumberger has gone native in Russia. It has a global reputation as a leader in oil-field services,but its thriving Russian business has been built on three local outfits it has bought since 2004. Ineach case, Schlumberger revamped operations but kept enough of the old company intact topreserve its earthy Russian character. Schlumberger "doesn't make the assumption that the West isbest," says Rob Whalley, a sturdy Briton who serves as the company's drilling czar in the country.It helps to keep a low profile. Schlumberger has prospered by offering its services through localsubsidiaries, even as Moscow has strong-armed Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) and BP (BP) out of premier assets, forcing them to hand over control of big fields in Siberia and on Sakhalin Island tostate-owned Gazprom, now a Schlumberger client. Schlumberger has 14,000 employees in Russia,and its revenues there topped $1.5 billion last year, triple the level in 2004. "Russia could one daybe as big for us as the U.S.," where Schlumberger gets nearly 30% of its revenues, says ChiefExecutive Andrew F. Gould, a British native who has lived in Paris for decades.You could call Schlumberger the stealth oil major. Sure, giants such as ExxonMobil (XOM),Chevron (CVX), and BP dominate headlines in the global quest for crude. But they couldn't do itwithout Schlumberger. The company helps them scope out pockets of oil thousands of feet belowthe earth's surface, conjuring up their layer-cake images on a computer screen, and then threadingdrill bits through the richest bands.Schlumberger has figured out better than anyone else how the global oil game has changed, andit's helping to drive that change. The company is increasing its cooperation with Big Oil's most
 
prominent rivals, state-owned oil companies, and it's helping a group of smaller upstarts that areseeking to get into the business, such as hedge funds and private equity outfits. Just outside asuburban neighborhood near Dallas, for instance, it has drilled a half-dozen gas wells financed byNew York hedge fund Och-Ziff. While the majors typically want to own rights to oil reserves in thefields they operate—and take a share of the profits—Schlumberger has long been happy to work ona contract basis, getting paid a fixed fee for its services. "Schlumberger is the indispensablecompany," says J. Robinson West, chairman of PFC Energy, a Washington consulting firm. "Theyare involved in every major project in every important producing country."Since taking the top job in 2003, Gould has refocused the company on its core oil-servicesbusiness. The 61-year-old CEO's biggest efforts have been in Russia, the Middle East, and otherkey oil-producing regions, where he has won high-powered friends by building training facilities andresearch labs. Schlumberger's tentacles today stretch from drilling rigs in the scrublands of centralMexico to a 65,000 sq.-ft. research center in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, to a dreary Soviet-era officecomplex in Siberia. In each case, Schlumberger's far-flung operations help solidify relationships thatthreaten Big Oil's dominance of the business.As fields such as Alaska's North Slope and the North Sea have been depleted, the internationalgiants have turned to the developing world for new supplies. But governments of the biggestproducing countries haven't exactly embraced the majors. Instead, they want the choicest reservesto be controlled by their national companies, which have turned to service providers such asSchlumberger, Halliburton (HAL), and Baker Hughes (BHI) for the latest Western oil-field technologies.Flush with profits from record prices for crude, the state-owned outfits no longer need the capital ofthe majors. These national companies—Saudi Aramco, Mexico's Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex),Gazprom and Rosneft from Russia, and a dozen or so others across the globe—control more thanfour-fifths of known reserves. They don't want a Western oil company telling them how to do thingsor taking a fat chunk of the profits.Schlumberger appeals to the state-owned players because it's a company without a country: It'sregistered in the Netherlands Antilles, but Gould is based in Paris, and the company maintains largeoffices in Houston and London. Since 2000, Schlumberger's sales to national oil companies havegrown twice as fast as those to the majors. By 2006, sales to the nationals hit $5 billion, just aheadof revenues from the big international players, the company says.At the same time, Big Oil has lost its lock on the knowhow needed to manage complex projects.While the majors still lead in this area, Schlumberger is closing the gap. And the company haspulled ahead in technology. As oil prices tumbled to just over $10 per barrel in the late 1990s, themultinationals cut back on research and development. Schlumberger, by contrast, has alwaysconsidered itself a technology company, so it kept up its spending, devising new and more efficientways of detecting and extracting oil and gas. Today the majors invest less than 1% of revenues inresearch, while Schlumberger spends about 3%, or some $700 million this year.
INDISPENSABLE PLAYER
Schlumberger was founded in 1926 by two science-minded French brothers, Conrad and MarcelSchlumberger. They figured out how to use electric currents to locate oil hidden in the rocks deepunderground. Now, Schlumberger helps oil companies guide drill bits through twisted paths milesbeneath the earth's surface. It's a top player in seismic imaging—mapping the subsurface usingsound waves—and is the world leader in well logging, or lowering an instrument packed withsensors down a well to determine the rock structure along the drill hole. "It would be very hard to dowithout Schlumberger," says Sadad Husseini, a former executive vice-president at Saudi Aramco,the kingdom's national company. "Schlumberger has been critical for Saudi oil-field development."
 
Schlumberger's strategy seems to work. Its operating earnings are likely to approach $7 billion for2007, up 38%, on sales of $23 billion, a 21% increase, according to research house Sanford C.Bernstein & Co. (MMC) By contrast, Schlumberger's nearest rival, Halliburton, is growing moreslowly and is likely to see operating profits of $3.5 billion on sales of $15 billion, Bernstein reports.Despite a 10% drop in its share price since October, Schlumberger's market capitalization on theNew York Stock Exchange is a hefty $120 billion, making it No. 25 in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, just behind Coca-Cola (KO) and PepsiCo (PEP), and ahead of Wal-Mart (WMT) and McDonald's (MCD).Now, Schlumberger is fast building up a new business that strays from its traditional role as aservice provider and moves deeper into areas once dominated by the majors. The company'sIntegrated Project Management (IPM) unit is based in a low-rise building surrounded by lushgardens a short walk from London's Gatwick Airport. IPM aims to do just about anything an oil-fieldowner would want, including management of drilling programs and production. "What you see ismore and more people who don't have technical knowledge buying into oil fields," says Gould. IPM'srevenues almost quintupled, to some $1.6 billion, between 1999 and 2007, and the unit now has anorder backlog of $4.8 billion.The group is also challenging Big Oil by helping national companies gain a foothold away from theirhome turf. Russia's Rosneft, for instance, won exploration acreage in Algeria but had littleexperience in the country. Thanks to decades of working there, Schlumberger was able to round upa drilling rig—a scarce commodity in Algeria—from a subsidiary of Sonatrach, the nationalcompany. Schlumberger built an airstrip in a remote region, drilled two exploratory wells, and foundgas for Rosneft.
HIRED GUN
Like the majors, IPM is willing to assume more risk to reap greater rewards, but without taking anactual stake in oil reserves. While the bulk of Schlumberger's work is done for fixed fees, in 2003IPM worked out a profit-sharing arrangement with Shell and Petronas, Malaysia's national oilcompany. Schlumberger agreed to redevelop and manage Bokor, a Malaysian field where outputwas falling. It boosted production by 40% and got a share of the increase for its trouble.Schlumberger has a similar partnership with Romania's Romgaz at the Laslau Mare field inTransylvania. Such deals now account for about a quarter of IPM's revenues, and that figure islikely to rise, says IPM chief Miguel Gallucio.Some of IPM's biggest contracts are in Mexico. Schlumberger's relationship with domesticmonopoly Pemex goes back to 1938, when Mexico nationalized foreign oil interests andSchlumberger helped the Mexicans weather a subsequent embargo. Mexico's constitution barsoutsiders from owning oil reserves, which has benefited Schlumberger since it's willing to work as ahired gun. Over the past five years, IPM crews have drilled at least 1,000 wells in the Burgos Basinsouth of Brownsville, Tex. This vast field has helped reduce Mexico's dependency on importednatural gas—and led to another, $1.4 billion, contract for Schlumberger in the Chicontepec field inVeracruz and Puebla states. Schlumberger assumes wide responsibility on such projects, includingtedious steps such as obtaining permits from local authorities and environmental agencies.Schlumberger "has been utterly successful at penetrating Pemex," says George Baker, a Houstonconsultant who follows Mexico's oil business.As Schlumberger reshapes the industry through its work with the nationals, it's setting up a potentialconfrontation with Big Oil. "At some point we are going to have to have a conversation," says anexecutive at a major European oil company. "Are they taking business away from us by making thenational oil companies not need us?" The majors still give Schlumberger billions of dollars ofbusiness annually, and engineers around the world train with course materials developed bySchlumberger and use the company's software. But they're not going to be happy if Schlumberger

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