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Page added on January 29, 2009

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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.


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