Texas-based Schlumberger Buys 45% Stake In Russian Oil Driller



Oil services company Schlumberger announces deal to take minority stake in Russian rival, nearly a week after announcing plans to reduce its workforce. UPI/Stephen Shaver


HOUSTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) –Oil services company Schlumberger said Tuesday it spent roughly $1.7 billion to take a minority stake in a Russian driller, a week after announcing layoffs.The world’s largest oil services company said it was taking on a 45.65 percent stake in Eurasia Drilling Co., the largest company of its kind in Russia. The terms of the deal gives Schlumberger the right to buy the rest of the shares within three years of the deal’s closing.

“The agreement extends the successful long-term relationship enjoyed by the two companies within the strategic alliance signed in 2011, which has enabled deployment of a range of drilling and well engineering services to customers in the Russia land conventional drilling market,” Schlumberger said in a statement.

The Russian driller also has a large presence in the Caspian Sea and Iraq.

The deal’s announcement comes as Schlumberger said weak oil prices meant it had to cut back on its workforce.

With futures contracts showing crude oil priced below the $50 per barrel mark through mid 2015, the company said performance moving forward needed to be based on transformation and changes in the way it works.

Although there were signs that global oil demand would increase, Schlumberger said growth in global gross domestic product has “softened,” leading to uncertainty in 2015.