Ukrainian government says Irish company sponsors Putin’s war – lawyers, auditors won't comment

An Irish-based oil company is an “international sponsor of war” because it is “providing technological capabilities” and “ideological support” to Russia, according to a Ukrainian government report.

Dublin-based Weatherford International PLC – with an address in Dublin 2’s Sir John Rogerson's Quay, which it shares with Matheson, its Irish lawyers – is making around €275 million yearly from its oilfield operations in Russia. The company’s share price has more than tripled since Russia invaded Ukraine. 

The company’s Irish auditors, KPMG, declined to comment to The Ditch on its work with Weatherford. 

Meanwhile Ukraine has recently confirmed multiple cases of county Meath-based Timoney Technology’s parts in Russian armoured vehicles – first reported by The Ditch in March 2022.

Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) earlier this month confirmed Weatherford International PLC’s addition to a list of just 50 international companies the agency says are sponsors of the war being waged by Russia in the country. 

“Although sanctions have been imposed on Russia in this area, the Irish-American company Weatherford International continues to operate in Russia, paying millions of dollars in taxes there and providing technological capabilities to the aggressor country in the oil industry,” said the NACP in its February 15, 2024 statement.

Rosneft, the Russian state-controlled energy company, is among Weatherford’s business partners in the region, according to the statement. 

The report also accused Weatherford, who declined to comment when contacted by The Ditch, of “ideological support” for Vladimir Putin’s regime. 

Weatherford runs its entire worldwide revenue through Ireland – which amounted to just shy of €4 billion in 2022. 

Around €275 million of its income comes from oilfield operations in Russia, according to its most recent accounts filed with the Companies Registration Office in September last year.

Weatherford shares its registered office address with its Irish counsel Matheson, which also declined to comment on its client’s addition to the Ukrainian government’s War and Sanctions list.

Weatherford is a multinational oilfield service company founded in 1941. It moved its legal domicile from Switzerland to Ireland in 2019 so it could, according to a 2014 statement from the company, “operate at the lowest possible cost”.

Meanwhile Ukraine has documented at least four instances of Timoney Technology parts being found in Russian armoured vehicles in Ukraine. 

The Ditch first reported in March 2022 that Timoney Technology had supplied parts for Russian military vehicles – allegations that the company has never addressed. 

This was followed by a July 2023 international working group report identifying Timoney’s parts in Russian armoured vehicles deployed in Ukraine.

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors