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World’s Top Oilfield Services Provider Not Leaving Russia

SLB, the biggest oilfield services firm in the world, is not planning to abandon its business in Russia, chief executive Olivier Le Peuch told the Financial Times in an interview published on Monday.   

Pressure has mounted on companies, especially in the oil and gas industry, to withdraw from Russia after the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Many energy majors and oilfield services companies – including Exxon, Shell, BP, Baker Hughes, and Halliburton – have either announced plans to quit Russia or plans to do so as soon as applicable Russian laws allow. But not SLB, which last year was included on the list of international war sponsors by Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP).

“When we decide, we will make it public if we need to. But now, there is no decision yet,” SLB’s Le Peuch told FT. 

“The team over there is operating autonomously and I think is behind the curtain to some extent. We are protecting our assets, that’s our priority,” the executive added.

SLB said last summer that it was halting all shipments of products and technology into Russia from all SLB facilities worldwide, in response to the continued expansion of international sanctions—more than a year after other major Western oilfield services providers and oil and gas producers abandoned their Russian operations.

Baker Hughes and Halliburton, sold their Russian businesses in 2022, while Big Oil ended new investments in Russia and said they would be looking to exit the Russian market as soon as applicable regulations allow.

SLB, however, only “voluntary measures to curtail its Russian activity and announced that it would make no new investments in Russia and would not deploy new technology used in its services business.”

To compare, Baker Hughes signed in August 2022 an agreement to sell its Oilfield Services business in Russia to its local management team.

A month later, Halliburton announced it completed the sale of its Russia operations to a Russia-based management team made up of former Halliburton employees. As a result, Halliburton no longer conducts operations in Russia. The new Baker Hughes and Halliburton businesses in Russia operate independently of their former parent companies.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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