Protests force Baker Hughes to stop work in Iraq

Nov. 12, 2013 at 6:31 AM

HOUSTON, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Oil services company Baker Hughes said it halted work temporarily at a facility in Basra, Iraq, following weekend protests by residents.

The company, which has headquarters in Texas, said it declared force majeure in Iraq, meaning it's unable to meet certain contractual obligations because of circumstances beyond its control. The decision follows weekend protests at its facilities in Basra, a port city.

"The incident is currently under investigation," the company said in a statement Monday. "Due to the significant disruption of business, Baker Hughes has suspended operations in Iraq, and has issued force majeure notices to its customers."

Chief Executive Officer Martin Craighead said his company remains committed to Iraq despite the unrest.

"We hope to resolve this issue in a timely manner, and resume operations in support of our customers and the country of Iraq, as soon as it is safe to do so," he said in a statement.

No injuries or damage to Baker Hughes' facilities was reported as a result of the protests.

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