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Firms from U.S. and Canada continue to supply Russia with software for the oil and gas industry, Stanford sanctions working group reports

Oil service companies from Canada and the U.S. have continued to supply software to Russian oil and gas companies after the invasion of Ukraine, despite the imposition of sanctions and the withdrawal of major Western software suppliers from Russia, according to a report recently published by the International Working Group on Russian Sanctions at Stanford University.

Key software systems outlined in the report are made by the U.S. firms AspenTech and Emerson Electric Co. “These tools aid in optimizing reservoir management strategies and offer detailed insights into subsurface reservoirs. Despite sanctions, these software packages remain accessible in Russia through local representatives and continue to be utilized by major Russian oil companies like Rosneft, Gazprom, and others,” the paper reads.

Halliburton's Landmark Engineer's Desktop (Edt) also remains a crucial software suite in the Russian oil industry, providing a variety of applications for well development and production. Despite Halliburton scaling back its presence in Russia, its former business, now operated by BurService LLC, has retained access to the software. Aside from Halliburton, software packages from SLB (formerly Schlumberger) and Baker Hughes, both of which have announced their withdrawal from the country, have a presence in Russia.

The report also cites Canada-based CMG and the U.S.-based Weatherford as two other firms that aid Russia's energy industry.

“The software ‘STARS’ by CMG, an industry standard for hydrodynamic modeling, is used by major Russian oil companies. Russian educational institutions also hold academic licenses for this software,” the report says of Calgary-based CMG (Computer Modelling Group).

As for the Houston-based Weatherford International, the paper says:

“Weatherford's ReO soHware, a part of the Weatherford Field OfficeTM suite, is recognized for its capabilities in modeling petroleum engineering and optimizing production. Despite the sanctions, Weatherford LLC in Russia reported significant revenue in 2022 and continues to fulfill existing contracts.”

Western countries have consistently escalated pressure on Russia in the field of software exports and related solutions. Notably, the 12th EU sanctions package, approved in December 2023, includes a prohibition on the supply of industrial design and enterprise management software to Russia.

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