Tuesday AM February 7th, 2011

Houston-based oil companies are scaling back operations in Egypt as the country's political unrest continues. Andrew Schneider looks at what the next steps for such companies may be.
This is a self-propelled jack-up drilling rig called Bennevis.Schlumberger, Apache Corporation, Transocean and Diamond Offshore Drilling are just a few of the firms who have pulled expatriate workers and their families from Egypt in response to the ongoing turmoil.

“What they really need to be doing now is planning for regime change.”

Jim DeLoach, managing director with the Houston office of global risk consulting firm Protiviti, says U.S. companies operating in Egypt should be asking themselves just how vulnerable they are.

“Will there be exposure to confiscation?—For example, nationalization or asset expropriation that could lead to impairment of their investment in Egypt? Or will there be exposure to some form of discrimination directed to the country, such as additional taxation, price or production controls, or exchange controls?”

DeLoach says that if the answer to either of these questions is yes, firms should be looking at options for reducing their exposure — up to and including divestiture.
Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...