One of Schlumberger’s tricks of the trade is its near-statelessness. Unlike Halliburton, it is not US-owned. Despite being a publicly listed company both in the US and the UK, and having “headquarters” in London (a sleek glass skyscraper just yards from Buckingham Palace), Paris, The Hague and Houston, Schlumberger is formally incorporated in Curaçao, a Caribbean offshore haven with ties to the Netherlands.
(...) “You could almost say Schlumberger is the Apple of the oil fields, the high tech company, they’re ubiquitous,” explains Robert MacKenzie, an analyst at Iberia Capital Partners and a former employee of Schlumberger.
“If you’re trying to develop a field and you want the best you hire Schlumberger. If you’re not certain how to work it and you want someone to help figure out how you develop it you call Schlumberger. They have driven many technology advances in the industry in the past and they continue to do that.”
Schlumberger’s technological dominance is reflected in its formidable #patent portfolio.