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Baker Hughes Begins to Resume Iraq Oilfield Operations

Source: Reuters 11/25/2013, Location: Middle East

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Baker Hughes Inc is preparing to resume operations in Iraq after protests in Basra earlier this month prompted the U.S. oilfield services company to stop work at the Rumaila field.

"We have initiated the resumption of operations," Derek Mathieson, Baker Hughes' vice president of strategy and corporate development told investors at an investor conference.

"Within the coming weeks, we will be working toward becoming fully operational," he said.

Baker Hughes has been working with local authorities to ensure the safety of its workers and has received assurances that there will be additional security forces, Mathieson said.

Iraq is an important part the oilfield service company's growth strategy. Before the shutdown, that country was contributing about $50 million a month to Baker Hughes' Middle East Asia-Pacific region, Mathieson told investors.

Baker Hughes said on Nov. 11 it was suspending operations in Iraq following a weekend protest at its facility near the southern town of Basra.

Elsewhere on Nov. 11, angry Shi'ite Muslim workers and tribesmen wrecked offices at a Schlumberger Ltd drilling site in Rumaila North, also in the Basra region, accusing a foreign security adviser of insulting their religion.

It was unclear whether the two events were linked.

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