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SLB new name reflects the company’s focus on the energy transition and digital


SLB new name reflects the company’s focus on the energy transition and digital

For any company, a change in name presents a risk of brand recognition loss, at least in the short term. That would seem to be especially true for a company that has operated under the same name for almost a century. This no doubt had to have been a consideration for the management team at the company that first used the Schlumberger SLB +3.5% name in 1934 in its planning for the change to the simpler, stock symbol-oriented change to the new name of SLB. - Forbes

In a interview conducted just before Christmas, Rajeev Sonthalia, SLB’s President of Digital and Integration, agreed that the concern had arisen, but the decision was made that benefits of the brand pivot would outweigh any drawbacks. “So far, we’ve been very pleased by the response,” he told me.

When the name change was announced on October 24, the accompanying release said the SLB name was designed to underscore “the company’s vision for a decarbonized energy future and affirming its transformation from the world’s largest oilfield services company to a global technology company focused on driving energy innovation for a balanced planet.” SLB believes the new branding better reflects the company’s current focus on the energy transition, including innovating and decarbonizing the industry as well as developing new energy systems.

Sonthalia was careful to note, however, that the expansion in focus does not mean SLB is about to abandon its oilfield business. Far from it, in fact.

Our read of the future is that that there will be a balanced mix of energy. So, we need to continue driving innovation in oil and gas while exploring business opportunities beyond that. But it's absolutely a very core part of our strategy. There's no de-emphasis.

Christmas, Rajeev Sonthalia, SLB’s President of Digital and Integration

Sonthalia points to the need for digital transformation across SLB’s core oil and gas and new energy businesses. The company currently has more than 1,500 customers and more than 85% of the top 100 energy producers using its software.

“Digital promises to make a material impact in our industry by reducing cycle times and risk, accelerating returns, increasing productivity, while at the same time lowering costs and carbon,” he says. “We’re at an inflection point, and digital is helping us solve the challenge of energy affordability, sustainability and security, both for our legacy oil and gas business and the new energy systems of tomorrow.”

This collaboration represents an unprecedented opportunity for both companies to leverage digitalization to tackle one of the most critical challenges of our generation. At the same time, it would expand digital capabilities within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and harness Schlumberger’s global reach to potentially deliver a worldwide impact.

Ahmad A. Al-Sa’adi, senior vice president of Technical Services at Aramco

One recent SLB move combines the company’s continuing focus on its legacy business with an opportunity for expanding into additional sectors. In September, SLB and Aramco announced plans to collaborate on development of a digital platform designed to create sustainability solutions for hard-to-abate sectors across the Saudi Arabian economy. The concept will be to leverage off SLB’s existing digital technologies to enable companies in energy, utilities, chemicals, steel, cement and other hard-to-abate sectors to collect, measure, report and verify their emissions, and from there to evaluate pathways to decarbonization solutions.

Measurement of carbon is a challenge. The goal is to work closely with Aramco to be able to transparently measure their carbon footprint and move towards more transparency and intensive carbon accounting. We think by having everything on a data platform, we can effectively bring more transparency and better accountability to government reporting.

Christmas, Rajeev Sonthalia, SLB’s President of Digital and Integration

Ultimately, Sonthalia says, the goal is the development of a set of digital solutions that can be applied not just across industries, but in any country.

That's the whole idea of the collaboration: To be able to develop the platform as a whole and then to address the needs in Saudi Arabia and then expand beyond.

Christmas, Rajeev Sonthalia, SLB’s President of Digital and Integration

It’s the kind of global aspiration that can be pursued by a company with a global scale and reach. SLB, as it builds on the legacy created by its predecessor Schlumberger, is such a company.

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