Image courtesy of Rosneft.

Weatherford closed the sale of its Russian and Venezuelan land-drilling and workover operations to Rosneft for $500 million in cash Monday.

The sale is effective as of July 31, 2014.

Rosneft acquires eight Weatherford companies involved in drilling operations in Russia and Venezuela.

Rosneft also gains 61 land-drilling crews and a fleet of workover rigs in Russia and six land-drilling rigs in Venezuela, according to Weatherford’s regulatory filing.

Half of Weatherford’s revenue in Russia and a third of its revenue in Venezuela are generated from those operations.

The sale lets Weatherford get rid of the least-profitable piece of its land-drilling business.

“The combined Russian and Venezuelan businesses were not very profitable. In light of that, the $500 million price tag feels very healthy to us,” Jeffries Group LLC analyst Brad Handler told Bloomberg.

With the sale, Weatherford’s remaining Russian revenue base declined to 3 percent of total company revenue from 7 percent during the first half of 2014.

Proceeds from the sale will be used in full to pay down debt, Weatherford said.

Weatherford said it would sell or split off as much $1 billion in assets during 2014 as part of a corporate turnaround plan.

As of May, Weatherford’s global land-rig business had 183 drilling rigs, 284 workover rigs accounted for was estimated to account for $1.8 billion in sales during 2014.


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