A Half-Century of Achievement

With product sales and services in more than 120 countries and employing approximately 100,000 people who represent over 140 nationalities, Schlumberger supplies the industry’s most comprehensive range of products and services, from exploration through production, and integrated pore-to-pipeline solutions that optimize hydrocarbon recovery to deliver reservoir performance.  Africa Energy Series Angola 2019; Interview with Miguel Baptista, Managing Director, Schlumberger Angola & Namibia.

What are some of Schlumberger’s milestone achievements during its 50- year history in Angola?

In 1969, Schlumberger logged the first well in Soyo in the province of Zaire for Petrofina, which marked the beginning of the history in country. Since then, the company has been introducing cutting-edge technology to address key challenges for Angola’s oil and gas fields. Since the early 1980’s, WesternGeco, the geophysical services product line of Schlumberger, has carried out numerous multiclient seismic data acquisition programs offshore Angola in partnership with Sonangol E.P. Today, the WesternGeco multiclient data library includes more than 240,000 km of 2D data and more than 170,000 km² of 3D data for offshore Angola. This data is available to operators across the globe via the GAIA digital subsurface platform.

We recently introduced our formation testing while tripping technology in Angola, enabling our customers to test productivity and production rates during the drilling of exploration wells with significant cost savings compared to traditional techniques. This new technology enables our customers to confirm and officially declare reservoir discoveries and book additional reserves.

We were also a part of the Congo River Canyon Crossing Pipeline project, under a contract with Cabinda Gulf Oil Company Limited (CABGOC). This complex project involved the intersection of two shallow-water horizontal wells drilled on opposite sides of the Congo River’s submarine canyon. Through customer collaboration, teamwork and use of cutting-edge technology, such as our PowerDrive rotary steerable systems and WellDefined drilling survey services, we were able to land and intercept the wells as planned by CABGOC and its joint venture partners. Over the years, Angola has been the home port for multiple DP2 stimulation vessels. Two of the first vessels in the Angolan seas were the DeepSTIM I (2006-2017) and the Bourbon Herald (2009-2018), completing several jobs for customers. More recently, the DeepSTIM II (2015 – present) was moved from Malaysia to Angola. Today, the Greatship Ramya is based in Angola and has completed work for multiple customers since the vessel arrived in May 2019. The operational efficiency of the Greatship Ramya delivers a strong value proposition to customers: in the vessel’s first three months in service, the vessel executed more than 44 jobs for a single customer. Furthermore, the Greatship Ramya has the ability to conduct multiple operations with improved efficiency, including gravel pack and stimulation work scopes and catenary style operations (coiled tubing from vessel), resulting in fewer port calls for our customers.

The implementation of our technologies is supported by our in-country facilities, confirming our commitment to adopting the highest global standards to support and maintain the vast array of equipment and technology we deploy for oilfield services in Angola. We have eight different facilities across Luanda, Soyo and Cabinda that cover a combined 435,000 m2 .

Our subsea landing string maintenance and support base is the only facility in country with the ability to assemble and perform full system integration tests on all subsea landing strings systems while our OneSubsea facility has the full manufacturing capabilities to support subsea tree operations in country. We are proud to have the first wellhead manufactured solely in Africa, produced in house by Cameron Angola between 2012 and 2013. In addition, M-I SWACO, a Schlumberger company, provides drilling and completion fluids as well as dry bulk materials from our fully operational plants located in both Luanda and Soyo. Both plants have the capacity of around 70,000 barrels with ability to expand further more. With these facilities, Schlumberger can provide support and maintenance for a full suite of service technologies and solutions from various locations across the country.

What have been Schlumberger’s key drivers of growth in Angola?

Our innovative technology solutions, strong focus on health, safety and environment and our diverse, talented people set us apart. We recruit where we work and have a very robust and established process to identify, attract, on-board and retain top talent. For example, our Angola High Exposure and Accelerated Development (AHEAD) program has helped maximize the development of our Angolan national workforce by providing training, global exposure and the opportunities for career progression. This ensures employees are given the training, exposure and opportunities necessary for a successful career. The program includes accelerated training, external exposure, identification of high-performing Angolans, mentoring and a centralized monitoring system to track career progression. Our Angolanization rate is over 80 percent, which exceeds the minimum rate currently required by law, and the AHEAD program provides the platform to sustain this high level of national staffing in the years to come.

Schlumberger has many corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives around the globe. What has been the company’s approach to CSR in Angola?

Over the years, we have introduced several initiatives in the areas of science and technology education, health and safety and capacity building and development of local infrastructures. Our Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development program provides connectivity and online educational resources to schools. The initiative took root in Angola in 2002 with the award of a connectivity grant to the Nzinga Mbandi School in Luanda, which includes a student population of more than 6,000. Later, the program was extended to 1º de Maio, Juventude em Luta and other schools, reaching approximately 15,000 students a year. Our Faculty for the Future program, which awards fellowships to women from developing and emerging economies to pursue Ph.D. or postdoctoral research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, has proven success worldwide and is being actively promoted in Angola. We are also collaborating with Agostinho Neto University on several initiatives from planning more effective recruitment to enabling software technology access with training for Petrel E&P software platform, ECLIPSE industry-reference reservoir simulator and Techlog wellbore software platform.

What lies ahead in the future for Schlumberger in Angola?

We see a very exciting future for Schlumberger and the industry in Angola given the recent government reforms to address the challenge of production decline and accelerate exploration. To meet these challenges, we will continue providing innovative technology solutions, harnessing the expertise of our talented people and utilizing our vast facility footprint in the country. We will also remain engaged with various stakeholders and our host communities continuing our impactful global stewardship initiatives.