In British Columbia, Schlumberger Limited said that the HEAL System technology was used for several oil and gas customers to increase productivity by an average of 75 per cent in 25 horizontal wells in the Montney.

As a joint venture between Schlumberger and Production Plus Energy Services Inc., HEAL System technology is designed to lower production costs by mitigating multiphase slug fluid flow and excessive gas interference during the production phases of horizontal unconventional wells. This technology has now been introduced in all major liquids-rich shale basins in North America land.

Meanwhile, on Dec. 7, 2017, Schlumberger Production Management (SPM) and Torxen Energy, a private Canadian E&P company, completed the purchase of the Palliser Block asset from Cenovus Energy Inc.

Q4 results

Schlumberger reported better-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter and said it expected another strong year for North American shale drilling in 2018 along with its first international business growth in four years.

$2.7 billion in one-off charges, including an almost $1 billion write-down of investments in Venezuela, widened the company's GAAP loss to $2.26 billion. It also announced the closure of its land and marine seismic exploration business.

Adjusted for the one-off items, however, the past year's recovery in crude prices drove earnings at the world's largest oil services company to 48 cents a share, beating average analyst estimates of 44 cents, as per Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Chairman and chief executive Paal Kibsgaard said explorers and producers now predict 15-20 per cent growth in North American investment this year and said 2018 would be the first year of growth for all parts of its global operations since 2014.

"Looking at the oil market, the strong growth in demand is projected to continue in 2018, on the back of a robust global economy," he said.

The recovery of oil prices to almost $70 has given fresh legs to shale drilling in North America, poising the United States to push oil output past 10 million bbls/d, toppling a record set in 1970.

Schlumberger's revenue from North America rose 59 per cent to $2.81 billion for the fourth quarter, pushing total revenue up 15 per cent to $8.18 billion.

International revenues fell one per cent during that time.

The company pointed to the strong shale market as the reason for its run-down of its seismic acquisition business. It said it was the only one of its businesses which it did not believe would meet expectations for returns going forward.

"We have therefore taken the difficult decision to exit the marine and land seismic acquisition market, and instead turn our WesternGeco product line into an asset-light business," it said.

-with a file from Reuters