Claims multi-year conspiracy between insiders that led to theft of WellDog’s prolific and industry leading Australian subsidiary
Global corporate piracy is real, but the courts will rectify in this case
WellDog remains robust and active in markets around the world
May 30, 2018 (Laramie, WY USA) – WellDog announced today that it has filed a lawsuit in Albany County, Wyoming, USA claiming more than $100 million in damages due to actions of corporate raiders. In a Hollywood-esque story reminiscent of Gordon Gecko or the robber barons of old, corporate raiders colluded to strip WellDog of its valuable Australian subsidiary, WellDog Pty Ltd (WDPL).
WellDog’s subsidiary was formed in 2011 to serve the emerging Australian coalbed methane (CBM) market. From 2011 through 2015, WDPL grew to a service company achieving annual revenues of nearly A$35 million a year. Along the way, WellDog collected numerous accolades and awards from the oil and gas, finance and entrepreneurial industries, including receiving the USA President’s E Export Award and being listed 88th on the Inc 500 list of the fastest growing private companies in America.
“The company’s Australian subsidiary did a lot of good work,” said John Pope, Ph.D., CEO of WellDog. “Against all odds and from a standing start, in just a few years the company accomplished a considerable amount. It pioneered new production methods, helping Australian operators increase shipments of natural gas to Asia by 15% – adding more than A$500 million annually to Queensland CBM revenues. The company established and nurtured a global pipeline of new technical and business solutions to the Australian market. And it supported key community fabric programs including suicide prevention, rugby union communities, and student exchanges between Queensland and Wyoming.”
“The pirates’ actions disrupted the products and services that WellDog was delivering and its ability to ensure that Australia’s CBM industry remains economically and environmentally sustainable,” said Pope. “They have also destroyed significant value for many innocent American and Australian shareholders, debtholders, employees and suppliers. However, WellDog has successfully retained its product development pipeline as well as the creative minds that planned and executed the initial buildout of the Australian business, thereby ensuring that its services will remain relevant to industry for the foreseeable future.”
Founded in 1999, WellDog is built on the belief that technical invention combined with supply chain innovation can create a more sustainable and profitable oil and gas industry.
WellDog has seen its share of ups and downs. Working closely with Shell International E&P, WellDog pioneered an industry-changing technology that enables CBM producers to quickly and accurately locate natural gas. Due to the technology’s success, WellDog quickly became a leading target of venture investment in the natural gas service industry in the 2000’s. After the post 2008-recession when the U.S. natural gas market was disrupted by shale gas production and the company went through a restructuring, Pope went to Australia with US$10,000 to build a subsidiary servicing that emerging CBM play.
From 2014 through 2016, during the most recent global oil downturn while other oil and gas service companies were retracting, WellDog continued operations without substantial decline in revenues or business operations. However, WellDog executives noticed a surprising pattern of events that disrupted its growth financing and supply chain relationships.
Upon further investigation, WellDog discovered that one of its board members had been using confidential information, attained through his position on the board, to divert business opportunities into his own companies. At the same time, a small group of his associates, including a subsidiary director, senior managers and certain shareholders and debtholders, began colluding to deteriorate the company’s financial position and drive WellDog to sell WDPL in a forced bankruptcy. Despite WellDog’s best efforts, the corporate pirates were able to exploit Australia’s financial laws to appoint the board member’s best friend as receiver over the subsidiary. The group of pirates was then able to improperly acquire WDPL’s business assets out of bankruptcy and form and manage a new company, Qteq Pty Ltd, with the stolen business model, customer contracts, and intellectual property.
WellDog continues to help shale and CBM operators in Australia, the United States, and globally. Those efforts include an important joint venture in China directed at assisting that country with increasing their natural gas production while reducing emissions associated with burning coal for heating, cooking and power generation.
“Assisting the shale industry remains our focus in North America,” said James Walker, President and COO. “We have doubled down in West Texas with a very qualified sales and technical support staff. Between our shale applications and our work in China and other countries, we believe we will recreate the value that our shareholders, industry partners and other stakeholders have lost. We will succeed, and I believe we will do it in record time.”
WellDog currently has offices in Laramie, Houston, Midland/Odessa, Denver, and Xi’an, Shaanxi.
To learn more about the lawsuit and details regarding the corporate piracy issues surrounding the company, a copy of the lawsuit can be found at the District Court for the Second Judicial District in Albany County, Wyoming, USA, or here: US Complaint.