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Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Halliburton and Weatherford Halt New Russian Investments
The top global oilfield services companies announced over the weekend that they would suspend their investments in Russia, in another blow to the country’s oil and gas operations.
The No. 1 operator, Schlumberger Ltd., was joined by Baker Hughes Co., Halliburton Co. and Weatherford International plc, which separately agreed to cancel new investments.
“We have watched with immense concern as the conflict in Ukraine has escalated,” Schlumberger CEO Olivier Le Peuch said. “First and foremost, we are deeply focused on the health, safety and security of our employees, colleagues and their families in Ukraine, Russia and throughout the region.
“As the situation has developed, we have been evaluating our path forward, and have decided to immediately suspend new investment and technology deployment to our Russia operations. We continue to actively monitor this dynamic situation and will fulfill any existing activity in full compliance with applicable international laws and sanctions.”
The core of the company, which works in 120 countries, is “safety and security,” Le Peuch said, “and we urge a cessation of the conflict and a restoration of safety and security in the region.”
Still Fulfilling Contracts
Houston-based Baker Hughes, the No. 2 global operator, also suspended new spending for its Russia operations. The company said it would continue to comply with applicable laws and sanctions to fulfill contractual obligations.
“The crisis in Ukraine is of grave concern and we strongly support a diplomatic solution,” CEO Lorenzo Simonelli said. “We condemn violence and our hearts go out to the people and families of those impacted. The health and safety of our employees, customers, partners, and their families always remains our top priority.
“We have been continuously monitoring the situation,” Simonelli said. The decision to suspend new investments “follows an internal decision made with our board of directors and communicated to our leadership team…We remain committed to act in full compliance.”
Halliburton, also based in Houston, said it was immediately suspending “future business in Russia as the company complies with sanctions that prohibit transactions and work, including for certain state-owned Russian customers. Halliburton will prioritize safety and reliability as we wind down our remaining operations in Russia.”
Halliburton “several weeks ago” ceased “all shipments of specific sanctioned parts and products to Russia.” The company has no active joint ventures in the country.
“The war in Ukraine deeply saddens us,” said CEO Jeff Miller. “We have employees in both Ukraine and Russia, and the conflict greatly impacts our people, their families, and loved ones throughout the region,
“Since the start of this conflict, we prioritized employee safety and compliance with all relevant sanctions.”
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Weatherford CEO Girish Saligram extended the company’s “deepest sympathies…to all those impacted by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and sincerely hope that peace is restored soon to spare further hardship. Our primary focus is centered on the safety and wellbeing of our employees in the region.
“Since the crisis began, we have continued to evaluate our operations and have taken a number of actions in response,” Saligram said. When sanctions were implemented in February, “we placed a hold on shipments and immediately suspended making any new investments or deploying new technology in Russia. We have no active joint ventures or partnerships in Russia.
“We will remain in compliance with the evolving sanctions landscape and will continue to fulfill existing contractual obligations within applicable international laws and sanctions.
“We are deeply concerned about the crisis and urge a speedy diplomatic and peaceful resolution.”
The actions by the leading operators follow those by many energy companies and the integrated majors, including BP plc, Equinor ASA, ExxonMobil, Shell plc and TotalEnergies SA, which have announced they will no longer invest in Russia and plan to sell their stakes.
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