The world’s two largest oil field services companies said they have stopped new investments and technology deployments to Russia, joining a growing list of companies that are backing away from the country as its war with Ukraine escalates.
Schlumberger, which has headquarters in Paris and Houston, said late Friday it will “immediately suspend” new investments and technology deployments to Russia. Houston-based Baker Hughes said Saturday that it also suspended new investments for operations in Russia.
Schlumberger, the largest oil field services company, and Baker Hughes, No. 2, each do business in about 120 countries.
“The crisis in Ukraine is of grave concern and we strongly support a diplomatic solution,” Baker Hughes CEO Lorenzo Simonelli said Saturday in a statement, noting his company reached the decision to stop investing in its Russian operations “earlier this week.”
Pressure has been mounting on American energy companies to stop business with Russia, the world’s second-largest oil producer after the United States, as America and its allies look to cut off money that Russia can use to support its war against Ukraine.
Last week, President Joe Biden banned Russian oil and gas imports, asserting he was “targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy.”
“We will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war,” Biden said.
Oil prices have soared since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine more than three weeks ago, surging at one point above $120 a barrel. Oil settled Friday at $104.70 a barrel in New York.
Some of the world’s biggest oil companies have already committed to pulling out of Russia — Exxon Mobil said it would cease oil production there. BP and Shell announced plans to withdraw from oil and gas partnerships in the country. Major companies such as Apple, Nike and Ikea have also pulled out.
Earlier this month, Ukrainian-American protesters stood in front of Schlumberger’s Houston office and called on the world’s largest oil field services company to stop its business with Russian-owned energy companies.
Schlumberger and Baker Hughes said they would continue to meet their existing obligations in Russia.
“We continue to actively monitor this dynamic situation and will fulfill any existing activity in full compliance with applicable international laws and sanctions,” Schlumberger said in a statement.
“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.”