Russian president Vladmir Putin. Image courtesy of the Presidential Press and Information Office.

The new round of Western sanctions against Russia may force service companies based in the EU and United States to limit or cancel operations in the country, impacting revenues and earnings.

The new actions took effect Friday and prohibit Western companies from working with Russian firms to explore or produce in deepwater, offshore Arctic and shale plays in Russia.

U.S. companies must wind down transactions with Russian energy companies including Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz and Rosneft by September 26.

Houston-based Schlumberger and Dallas-based Halliburton are two of the biggest service providers operating in Russia with about 5 percent of each company’s global revenues coming from the country.

In August, Schlumberger said it expected the Russian sanctions to cut its earnings by 3 cents per share in the third quarter.

Halliburton has not disclosed whether it expects the sanctions to impact its earnings.

In May, Halliburton suspended work with Gazprom Bureniye, a drilling company owned by Putin ally Arkady Rotenberg.

Neither company has commented on their plans to limit or stop operations in Russia.

Schlumberger has already started transferring foreign staff operating in Russia to other locations.

Both companies could lose a combined $4 billion in revenues if they are forced to stop operations in Russia, Canada-based RBC Capital Markets said.

About a quarter of all companies involved in the Russian oil sector are based in the United States and the EU, the Moscow Times said.

According to Russia’s Energy Ministry, Western companies account for as much as 70 percent of unconventional and hard-to-recover activities in Russia.

Russian services companies are expected to benefit from the exit of their Western counterparts.

Russian services companies have been developing technologies similar to those offered by Western firms but have struggled to win contracts because major Russian oil producers have preferred Western companies, the Moscow Times said.

Companies from China, Korea and Singapore could also fill demand for drilling services and technology.


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