ABB, Schlumberger form subsea technology joint venture

Schlumberger Oilfield Services and ABB Group Tuesday announced the establishment of Syntheseas, a joint venture company aimed at improving efficiencies of subsea oil and gas systems from reservoir development to topside facilities. The London-based company will have teams in Houston and Aberdeen.


Paula Dittrick
OGJ Online

HOUSTON, May 1 -- Schlumberger Oilfield Services and ABB Group Tuesday announced the establishment of Syntheseas, a joint venture company aimed at improving efficiencies of subsea oil and gas systems from reservoir development to topside facilities.

Svein Kjellesvik, Syntheseas president, said the new company has no deals yet. Kjellesvik is a 26-year veteran of Schlumberger Oilfield Services. Syntheseas, London, will have teams in Houston and Aberdeen.

Each company will provide half the employees for Syntheseas, providing a balance of subsurface and subsea expertise. Initially, Syntheseas will focus on the markets of the North Sea, West Africa, and the Gulf of Mexico.

"There is a nervousness about bringing new technology to the field as fast as it could be done," Kjellesvik said. "Syntheseas wants to be a change agent bringing new technology to the field quicker."

He said Syntheseas will not compete with its parent companies but is expected to use the subsea expertise of ABB and the subsurface expertise of Schlumberger.

"We don't want to interfere with ongoing businesses of the mother companies," Kjellesvik said, adding the new company seeks to "provide unique solutions."

Gorm Gundersen, executive vice president and head of ABB's oil, gas, and petrochemicals division, said, "We can develop new solutions which none of us could develop alone. ... The key to establishing the new company is the seamless integration of ABB and Schlumberger technologies. The combined venture will also allow joint technology development to provide new integrated systems."

Andrew Gould, Schlumberger Oilfield Services executive vice-president, said deepwater projects are very costly, so the majors will be interested in value-added technology that Syntheseas will provide.

Kjellesvik said he also expects that smaller niche oil and gas companies will be interested in Syntheseas.

Schlumberger Oil Field Services is a segment of Schlumberger Ltd., New York. ABB is based in Zurich.

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