U.S. warns over limits of easing on Iran sanctions

|By:, SA News Editor

Schlumberger (SLB) finished shutting down its Iranian business in Q2 last year after losing $69M and facing a U.S. probe into its activities in several sanctioned countries, its latest 10-K filing shows; SLB says it has not bid on new Iranian oil contracts since early 2009.

Economic sanctions against Iran had pushed other oilfield service firms such as Halliburton (HAL) and Baker Hughes (BHI) to finish up their contracts and exit the country; last November, Weatherford (WFT) agreed to pay $252M in penalties for violating sanctions in Iran and other countries.

Several of the world’s largest oil companies, such as BP and Shell, also pulled out of projects in Iran.

Although the U.S. struck a six-month easing of some sanctions on Iran in November, officials are privately warning some of the same executives that any business now allowed with Iran must be limited to the six-month window of the deal.