June 24, 2010 / 5:37 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Helmerich says Venezuela yet to inform on rig takeover

* Says not received notification on rig nationalization

* Says wants to be paid for work already performed.

* Says $43 mln due remains from PDVSA

By Thyagaraju Adinarayan

BANGALORE, June 24 (Reuters) - Helmerich and Payne Inc (HP.N) said it has not received any notification from the Venezuelan government regarding nationalization of its rigs or other assets, and demanded pending payments for its services from the state-owned oil company PDVSA.

Earlier on Thursday, Venezuela’s Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said the country would nationalize a fleet of 11 oil rigs belonging to Helmerich. [ID:nN23264597]

“Our dispute with PDVSA has never been very complicated and our position has remained clear: We simply wanted to be paid for work already performed,” Chief Executive Hans Helmerich said in a statement.

Helmerich and Payne said its rigs that formerly worked for PDVSA completed their contract obligations during 2009 and have been idled since then.

The total invoiced amount due from PDVSA as of June 14 is valued at about $43 million, the company said.

As of May 31, the company had about $30 million in cash denominated in local currency in Venezuela.

It also had $67 million in net book value of long-lived assets comprised of property, plant and equipment as of the second quarter, ended March 31.

Pritchard Capital analyst Brian Uhlmer expects to see full charge-off of that amount in the current quarter.

The company’s rig count in Venezuela has fallen to under 5 percent of its overall rig count, from 30 percent earlier.

Helmerich and Payne is a small player in the drilling industry, but global giants like Halliburton (HAL.N), Schlumberger (SLB.N) and Baker Hughes BHI.N also have a presence in Venezuela.

However, Venezuela’s decision to nationalize Helmerich’s rigs was widely expected and will not have a recurring impact on the contract driller’s earnings.

“There is little if any earnings impact, regardless of this issue,” Argus Research’s Phil Weiss said. (Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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