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Russia gives tentative nod to Schlumberger's acquisition of EDC


Reuters MOSCOW
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has given preliminary approval to U.S. oilfield services giant Schlumberger bid to acquire up to 49 percent in Russia's Eurasia Drilling Co (EDC) in a surprise move despite a chilling in U.S.-Russian relations.
The United States has introduced a number of sanctions, including restrictions on financing for Russian companies over Moscow's role in Ukraine's crisis and alleged meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential election.
RIA news agency cited Igor Artemyev, head of Russia's anti-monopoly body (FAS), as saying that the regulator would quickly start talks with Schlumberger, the largest oilfield service company by revenue.
"We (will) immediately start the talks with Schlumberger and hope that we are moving to the final stretch," he was quoted by RIA as saying after a Russian government meeting on foreign investments.
Schlumberger had initially planned to buy 51 percent in EDC, but decided to scale down its bid. The deal has faced difficulties as relations between Russia and the United States have deteriorated.
This is a second attempt by Schlumberger to acquire Russia's leading oilfield services provider. In 2015, Schlumberger agreed to buy 45.65 percent of EDC for $1.7 billion, but the deal fell through after the FAS repeatedly postponed its approval. Later that year, EDC delisted its shares on the London Stock Exchange.
For Schlumberger, the investment would mean access to the Russian oil market, one of the world's largest, amid rising crude prices.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Mark Heinrich)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Apr 28 2018 | 7:03 PM IST

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