Apache Corp. Sues Eagle Ford Oilfield Services Companies

Houston-based Apache Corporation is in the midst of an ongoing legal battle stemming from relationships it had with oilfield services companies in the Eagle Ford Shale. Apache is alleging fraud by the principals of two oilfield services companies and a string of other parties for more than $1 million, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle. Bexar County District Court documents show lawsuits were filed in late April of 2014 against three oilfield services companies — Stag Energy Services LLC, Double M Services, and Bronco Services LLC. James C. Mann and Robbie L. Ward, of Stag Energy and Double M Services, were named in the suit. Both companies have shut their doors.

According to the Chronicle, Mann worked at Stag with his now estranged wife, Ward, who was part owner in the company. After the dissolution of Stag in November of 2013 by its majority owner Steven Staglik, who was not named in the suit, Mann and Ward shifted their operations to Double M. The former Stag and Double M provided contract drilling services, equipment rental, and trucking services in the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin.

Apache alleges Chad Walker, a former construction foreman for the oil giant, began approving unsubstantiated invoices from the service companies run by Mann and Ward. In a court filing, Walker denied the allegations. In the Chronicle's report, separate attorneys for Mann and Ward also denied the company's claims.

Although this specific case puts a bad light on a few oilfield service companies and some alleged bad apples, most of oilfield service companies and oilfield workers in the Eagle Ford are on the up and up. As with any boom, where there is a good deal of money to be made, some people will be tempted to take advantage of the moment. EagleFordShale.com will keep you updated as this case develops.

Read more at chron.com