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H&P idles rigs in PDVSA dispute

US oil driller Helmerich & Payne said Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA owed it nearly $100 million and that it had begun to idle drilling, sending shares down 10%.

That move comes two days after Venezuela seized a rig owned by Ensco International after the US company halted operations because of unpaid bills.

So far, two of Helmerich & Payne’s 11 rigs in the Opec member’s oilfields have ceased operations, and that number would rise to five by the end of February as the current work contracts expire, said a Reuters report.

“Absent any improvement of receivable collections, the remaining rigs would probably become idle by the end of July this year,” Helmerich said in its quarterly earnings release.

Upstream Online

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