Baker Hughes joins oil rivals in pausing Russian operations

Mar 19, 2022, 7:54 AM | Updated: Mar 21, 2022, 5:54 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Baker Hughes, a major U.S. oil services company, added its name Saturday to the growing list of U.S. companies that are pulling back from Russia in response to Moscow’s war against Ukraine.

Baker Hughes made its announcement one day after similar moves by oil rivals Halliburton Co. and Schlumberger. The steps from the Houston-based businesses come as they respond to U.S. sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In its statement, Baker Hughes, which also has headquarters in London, said the company is suspending new investments for its Russia operation and is complying with applicable laws and sanctions as it fulfills current contractual obligations. It said the announcement follows an internal decision made with its board and shared with its top leadership team.

“The crisis in Ukraine is of grave concern, and we strongly support a diplomatic solution,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, chairman and CEO of Baker Hughes.

Halliburton announced Friday that it suspended future business in Russia. Halliburton said it halted all shipments of specific sanctioned parts and products to Russia several weeks ago and that it will prioritize safety and reliability as it winds down its remaining operations in the country.

Schlumberger said that it had suspended investment and technology deployment to its Russia operations.

“Safety and security are at the core of who we are as a company, and we urge a cessation of the conflict and a restoration of safety and security in the region,” Schlumberger CEO Olivier Le Peuch said in a statement.

As the war continues, and the deadly violence and humanitarian crisis worsens, companies that remain are under increasing pressure to leave.

More than 400 U.S. and other multinational firms have pulled out of Russia, either permanently or temporarily, according to Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for Executive Programs at Yale University’s School of Management, who has publicized a list of corporate actions in Russia.

Oil companies ExxonMobil, Shell, and BP, along with some major tech companies like Dell and Facebook, were among the first to announce their withdrawal or suspension of operations. Many others, including McDonald’s, Starbucks and Estee Lauder, followed. Roughly 30 companies remain.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday asked Congress to press U.S. businesses still operating in Russia to leave, saying the Russian market is “flooded with our blood.”

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Baker Hughes joins oil rivals in pausing Russian operations