Last of major U.S. oilfield services companies suspends Russian operations after Ukraine invasion

The last of the four global oilfield services companies in Russia has suspended operations there in response to U.S. and Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine.

On Sunday, the Russian Interfax news agency said Weatherford International, based in Houston, decided to suspend making any new investments and deploying new technology following the implementation of sanctions after the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.

“We have no active joint ventures or partnerships in Russia,” Weatherford President Girish Saligram said, according to Interfax.

U.S.-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 will “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 business there.

“The war in Ukraine deeply saddens us. We have employees in both Ukraine and Russia and the conflict greatly impacts our people, their families, and loved ones throughout the region,” Halliburton President Jeff Miller said in a statement. 

The pullout of the oilfield services companies could amount to a major financial hit to Russia, which relies on the industry for a significant part of its national economy and its foreign export earnings.

According to industry officials, Schlumberger is the world’s largest oilfield services company. Company CEO Olivier Le Peuch announced its pullout from Russia in a statement.

“We have watched with immense concern as the conflict in Ukraine has escalated,” Mr. Le Peuch said. “We have been evaluating our path forward and have decided to immediately suspend new investment and technology deployment to our Russia operations.”

The fourth oilfield services company, Houston-based Baker Hughes, also announced a decision to suspend any new investments in its operations in Russia. The company is “continuing to comply with applicable laws and sanctions as it fulfills current contractual obligations,” according to Interfax.

Mr. Le Peuch said the health and well-being of Schlumberger employees are his first priority.

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