Major American providers of oilfield services supplied Russia with millions of dollars in equipment for months after its invasion of Ukraine, helping to sustain a critical part of its economy even as Western nations launched sanctions aimed at starving the Russian war effort.
The largest – SLB, formerly Schlumberger – maintained and even slightly grew its business after others eventually departed. It announced on Friday it would stop exporting equipment there as The Associated Press prepared to publish a report on the companies’ Russian operations.
Russia imported more than 5,500 items worth more than $200 million from the top five U.S. firms in the sector — led by SLB, Baker Hughes and Halliburton — in the year following the invasion that began in February 2022. That’s according to customs data obtained by B4Ukraine and vetted by The AP.
The technology helped keep some of the world’s most challenging oilfields operating in a sector that provided nearly half of Russia’s federal revenues in 2021. Baker Hughes and Halliburton wound down their Russian operations several months after the invasion, but until last week, SLB still sold technology there.
It was “deeply shocking to find a U.S. company continuing to supply equipment to Russia’s oil and gas sector,” said Eleanor Nichol, executive director of B4Ukraine, a coalition of more than 80 nonprofits calling for multinationals to leave the Russian market.