Last of America’s major oil service companies suspends Russian operations after Ukraine invasion
The last of four global oil service companies in Russia has suspended operations there in response to US and Western sanctions imposed on Moscow following the invasion of Ukraine.
On Sunday, Russia’s Interfax news agency said Houston-based Weatherford International had decided to suspend further investment and deploy new technologies following the implementation of sanctions following the Feb. 24 Russian invasion.
“We have no active joint ventures or partnerships in Russia,” Weatherford Chairman Girish Saligram said, according to Interfax.
US-based Halliburton was the first energy management company to announce it was suspending operations following President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Russia’s smaller neighbor.
In a statement, Halliburton said it would “prioritize safety and reliability as we wind down our remaining operations in Russia.” The company had already halted shipments of sanctioned parts and products to Russia several weeks before announcing the suspension of all activities there.
“The war in Ukraine saddens us deeply. We have employees in Ukraine and Russia and the conflict is having a significant impact on our people, their families and loved ones across the region,” Halliburton Chairman Jeff Miller said in a statement.
The withdrawal of oil service companies could represent a major financial blow for Russia, which depends on the industry for a large part of its national economy and export earnings abroad.
According to industry officials, Schlumberger is the largest oil services company in the world. The company’s CEO, Olivier Le Peuch, announced its withdrawal from Russia in a statement.
“We have watched with immense concern the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine,” Le Peuch said. “We have assessed our way forward and have decided to immediately suspend new investments and the deployment of technologies in our operations in Russia.”
The fourth oil services company, Baker Hughes, based in Houston, also announced its decision to suspend all new investment in its operations in Russia. The company “continues to comply with applicable laws and sanctions to the extent that it fulfills its current contractual obligations,” according to Interfax.
Mr. Le Peuch said the health and well-being of Schlumberger employees is his top priority.