FILE PHOTO: The exterior of the Schlumberger Corporation headquarters building is pictured in the Galleria area of Houston January 16, 2015.
FILE PHOTO: The exterior of the Schlumberger Corporation headquarters building is pictured in the Galleria area of Houston January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Richard Carson (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS ENERGY EMPLOYMENT)/File Photo

World's largest oil service firm SLB ceases Russian operations

On Friday, top oilfield services firm SLB said it is halting shipments of products and technology into Russia from all its operations over an expansion of Western sanctions.

(Reuters) - Top oilfield services firm SLB on Friday said it is halting shipments of products and technology into Russia from all its operations over an expansion of Western sanctions.

SLB, the world's largest oil service and equipment provider, was one of the few providers to continue working the country's oil sector following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The latest ban expands restrictions that had been in place since 2022 to more countries. The move came "in response to the continued expansion of international sanctions" the company said in a statement.

The company, formerly known as Schlumberger, said the Russia ban now applies to all its worldwide operations, not just those in the U.K., U.S., the European Union and Canada.

"SLB takes its responsibility to comply with export control and economic sanction laws extremely seriously, and the company remains aligned with the international community in condemning and calling for an end to the war in Ukraine," the company said in a statement.

The Curacao-domiciled firm recently had 9,600 employees working for top Russian oil and gas companies such as Gazprom Neft and Rosneft. The work contributed 5% of the company's annual revenue of about $28 billion.

Earlier this year, Reuters reported SLB had made changes to its operations to remain in compliance with Western sanctions on oil equipment and technology transfers. The changes included barring Russia employees from accessing certain software and messaging systems, and walling off the unit from other operations.

The company, with offices in Paris, Houston, London and The Hague, has been criticized by human rights groups and employees over the decision to remain in Russia.

U.S. oilfield rivals Halliburton and Baker Hughes sold or put their Russian operations on the block soon after the February, 2022, invasion.

(Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by David Gregorio)

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