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Baker Hughes stops work in Iraq after security incident

Martin Craighead , President and CEO of Baker Hughes speaks during the CERAWEEK world petrochemical conference in Houston March 6, 2012. REU
Martin Craighead , President and CEO of Baker Hughes speaks during the CERAWEEK world petrochemical conference in Houston March 6, 2012. REU

(Reuters) - U.S. oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc said on Monday it has suspended operations in Iraq following a weekend protest by local residents at a facility near Basrah.

Baker Hughes said there were no injuries from the incident on Saturday, but it has issued force majeure notices to its customers "due to the significant disruption of business."

"While we investigate this incident, and until the work environment has stabilized, we are halting activities in Iraq," Martin Craighead, Baker Hughes Chief Executive said in a statement. "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."

In its last annual filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Baker Hughes said it held integrated operations contracts in Iraq. In May, the company said it expected its operations there to expand to 11 rigs.

A spokeswoman for Baker Hughes was not immediately available to provide additional details.

(Reporting by Anna Driver; editing by Terry Wade, G Crosse)

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