Schlumberger is the world's leading provider of technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production, and processing to the oil and gas industry. Operating in more than 85 countries and employing approximately 100,000 people who represent over 140 nationalities, Schlumberger supplies the industry's most comprehensive range of products and services, from exploration through to production, and integrated pore-to-pipeline solutions that optimize hydrocarbon recovery to deliver reservoir performance.
According to the Company´s Annual Report Schlumberger reported revenues of $30.4 billion in 2017, which represented an increase of 9% compared with $27.81 billion in 2016. This reflects a full year of activity from the acquired Cameron businesses compared to only three quarters of activity in 2016. In addition to the impact of Cameron, the year-on-year revenue growth was led by unconventional land resource developments in North America, where revenue increased over 80% in line with the average rig count increase. The number of final investment decisions tripled in 2017 compared to 2016, with 75% of the new projects planned for shallow and deepwater offshore environments. Drilling Group revenue in North America land increased due to the continuing high demand for longer horizontal lateral sections in shale oil wells. Increased Cameron Surface and Drilling Systems product sales and services also contributed to the strong financial performance in North America. North America revenue, including offshore, grew 42% year on year.
During the past three years Schlumberger has strengthened its technology. The most recent example is the expansion of its hydraulic fracturing presence in North America through the purchase of the US fracturing and pump-down perforating businesses from Weatherford for $430 million.
In 2017 new technology sales from all Groups contributed to 24% of total sales, which is a 4% increase over the previous year.
2017 pre tax operating income grew 20% from $3,273 million in 2016 to $3,921 million and pre tax operating margin was expanded 111 basis points (“bps”) to 13%. This was driven by improved profitability in North America due to the growth in land activity that benefited both the Production and Drilling Groups.
Full-year 2017 net income before taxation increased 35% from $1,550 million in 2016 to $2,085 million in 2017.
Amongst the Group segments Production Group full-year 2017 revenue of $10.6 billion increased 21% due to the accelerated land pressure pumping activity growth in North America that benefited the pressure pumping business, which grew 44%.
Reservoir Characterization Group full-year 2017 revenue of $6.8 billion improved 2% primarily due to higher WesternGeco and Wireline revenue on projects in the Middle East & Asia Area, North America land, Russia and Mexico. Pre tax operation margin for Resevoir Characterization Group was essentially flat at 18%.
Drilling Group full-year 2017 revenue of $8.4 billion declined 2%, primarily driven by 8% declines in offshore rig count internationally and in offshore North America combined with pricing pressure and Schlumberger´s decision in April 2016 to reduce its activities in Venezuela to align operations with cash collections. Pre tax operation margin increased 210 bps to 14%, primarily due to improved profitability in North America due to accelerated land activity and improved pricing. This improvement was partially offset by the negative impact of reduced activity in Venezuela.
The Cameron Group contributed full-year 2017 revenue of $5.2 billion ($4.2 billion in 2016), impacted by a declining project backlog, particularly for the long-cycle business of Drilling Systems and OneSubsea.
The R&D (Research & Development) expenditure has decreased in terms of both absolute dollars and as a percentage of revenue from 3.6% ($1,012 million) in 2016 to 2.6% ($787 million) in 2017 as a result of cost control measures. Although R&D costs increased as a percentage of revenue in 2015 from 3.1% ($1,094 million) to 3.6% ($1,012 million) as compared to 2016, they decreased in absolute dollar terms as a result of cost control measures that were implemented, offset in part by the impact of the Cameron acquisition.
 On March 24, 2017, Schlumberger and Weatherford announced an agreement to create OneStimSM, a joint venture to deliver completions products and services for the development of unconventional resource plays in the United States and Canada. The joint venture will offer one of the broadest multistage completions portfolios combined with one of the largest hydraulic fracturing fleets in the industry. Schlumberger and Weatherford will have 70/30 percent ownership of the joint venture.