The Clean Green Energy Technology Machine—Which Way to Development and Commercialization?
While Schlumberger, Halliburton, and Baker Hughes focus their legacy technology and service portfolios on driving up efficiency, driving down cost, and making current sources of energy less carbon intensive, they diverge on their approaches to scaling up development and deployment of breakthrough clean energy technologies.
While Schlumberger, Halliburton, and Baker Hughes focus their legacy technology and service technology portfolios on driving up efficiency, driving down cost, and making current sources of energy less carbon intensive, the three companies diverge on their approaches to scaling up development and deployment of breakthrough clean energy technologies.
Halliburton and Schlumberger have carved out new, small businesses. Halliburton’s is an incubator/accelerator. Schlumberger’s is an umbrella for a portfolio of ventures. Baker Hughes, on the other hand, weaves clean energy technology development through and across its four vertical product companies and product and service lines with cross-functional teams and guidance from its energy transition function.
Halliburton Labs—Accelerating Ventures That Can Scale Into Energy’s “Next Big Thing”
Halliburton’s most significant exposure in clean energy sectors likely will come through its technology incubator/accelerator, Halliburton Labs, through which the company provides intellectual and financial support for the development of promising clean-energy technologies and helps participants scale their businesses. Among the companies in which it is investing are some that are transforming plastic waste into renewable power and recycling lithium-ion batteries.
“We believe in assessing the broad landscape and, at an appropriate time, we may make moves rather than an all-out investment to add to our portfolio now,” explained Sri Srinivasan, Halliburton’s senior vice president, global technology.
The function of the lab is to accelerate growth of startup companies working on disruptive, tangible-tech solutions such as materials science, hardware, and chemistry. The incubator also supports a broad spectrum of applications including innovation, transmission, distribution, storage, and energy conservation in the company’s targeted challenge areas.
Halliburton Labs offers a 12-month program. Startups admitted to the program receive $100,000 in funding along with other benefits in exchange for issuing Halliburton Labs a single-digit percent of the startup’s equity.
“By design, the objective of the labs is to foster the next generation of clean energy companies, with concepts or ideas beyond what would be directly relevant to Halliburton’s existing services and activities,” said Dale Winger, managing director of Halliburton Labs. “Access includes not only dedicated wet-lab working space, but also comprehensive analytical and mechanical test services, manufacturing setups, maker’s space, and disposal services—the full industrial lab capabilities of a multibillion-dollar enterprise,” Winger said.
Schlumberger New Energy—A Venture Portfolio
Schlumberger launched Schlumberger New Energy in 2020 with Ashok Belani as its executive vice president. Its portfolio includes companies developing solutions for hydrogen, carbon capture, and geothermal energy. Among these are
- Genvia in hydrogen
- NeoLith Energy in lithium
- Numerous partnerships in CCUS
- GeoFrame Energy to develop geothermal power projects
- Celsius Energy in heating and cooling of buildings
According to Belani, the group has begun forming partnerships with companies far removed from the fossil fuel industry.
Baker Hughes—A Natural Progression
Allyson Book, vice president of energy transition for Baker Hughes, says her company approaches clean energy technology development and commercialization as a natural progression of its core business as an energy technology company.
“We don’t have a ‘carve-out’ or a single lab,” said Book. “Instead, teams across the company are committed to continual innovation to advance, scale, and commercialize a range of low-carbon energy solutions to enable a net-zero future.”
The company has established internal cross-functional teams with a dedicated focus on accelerating commercial opportunities within key growth areas, including hydrogen, CCUS, geothermal, and emissions management.
“These teams will determine the right clean energy technologies to advance and scale alongside our existing product portfolio teams. And we will continue to look for promising early-stage technologies to acquire, like Compact Carbon Capture, that are a natural fit with our portfolio to augment our capabilities to lead in the energy transition over time,” she said.
To learn more about these companies’ approaches to energy transition, read the July JPT article, “As Oil Becomes Energy, ‘OFS’ Firms Revisit Priorities and Positions.”