Ecosphere Serves Halliburton With $300 Million Demand for Arbitration
Halliburton Faces Allegations of Stealing Guarded Trade Secrets and Violating
STUART, Fla., Feb. 21, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ecosphere Technologies, Inc.
(OTCBB: ESPH), a water engineering, technology licensing and innovative
manufacturing company, today announced that its counsel Leopold Law has issued
the following press release:
Ecosphere Technologies, Inc. ("Ecosphere") put Halliburton Energy Services,
Inc. ("Halliburton"), on notice today of a Demand for Arbitration that is
being filed with the American Arbitration Association, alleging that
Halliburton took and disclosed Ecosphere's trade secrets and proprietary
technical, business and strategic information. Ecosphere demands $300
Million in damages in the filing, alleging specifically that Halliburton
both breached a non-disclosure agreement with Ecosphere, and that
Halliburton stole, converted or misappropriated Ecosphere's trade secrets,
all relating to Ecosphere's green technology business model to treat and
recycle water used during hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" operations for
oil and natural gas.
Ecosphere developed a novel business platform and supporting technology to
treat and recycle "flowback" and "produced water" for use as a bacteria-free
and scale-free fracturing fluid. The revolutionary platform not only
provided an environmentally appealing alternative to the current system but
also provided considerable cost saving measures. The average unconventional
shale well requires 5.2 million gallons of clean water as a fracturing fluid
to allow the release of oil and natural gas. After injection, the fluid that
flows back up the wellbore is normally contaminated with heavy metals,
volatile organic compounds and bacteria, and is treated as contaminated
wastewater. Ecosphere developed a system to treat the flowback and produced
water without the use of liquid chemicals, for use as a fracturing fluid.
The breakthrough does and will continue to greatly reduce the environmental
impact traditionally associated with hydraulic fracturing, and has been
proven to significantly increase productivity in hydraulic fracturing
Ecosphere spent greater than $70 Million between 1998 and 2007 to develop
its proprietary broad spectrum advanced oxidation process, now trademarked
as Ozonix®, which uses ozone, hydrodynamic cavitation, acoustic cavitation
and electro chemical oxidation to treat produced fluids. In 2008, Ecosphere
developed the ability to use Ozonix directly at a well site, at the flow
rate of the frack (up to 5,000 gallons per minute), thereby lowering the
costs and environmental impact of both disposing of flowback and produced
water, and sourcing new water to continue fracking. Ecosphere named the
treated produced fluid Ecos-Brine®.
In December 2008, Ecosphere field-tested the process at several horizontal
Woodford Shale wells near Coalgate, Oklahoma, resulting in the publication
of a scientific paper describing the success, entitled "Breakthrough Mobile
Water Treatment Converts 75% of Fracturing Flowback Fluid to Fresh Water and
Lowers CO2 Emissions". Soon thereafter, Ecosphere alleges that Halliburton
faced significant political and public pressure to eliminate the toxic
chemicals they sold to energy exploration companies, including the
introduction in June 2009 of legislation called the "Fracking Responsibility
and Awareness of Chemicals Act" aimed at closing the "Halliburton Loophole".
Halliburton therefore approached Ecosphere to explore potential
opportunities to work together.
Ecosphere and Halliburton entered into a Joint Confidentiality Agreement
that prohibited Halliburton from the unauthorized use or disclosure of
Ecosphere's trade secrets and proprietary information, and pursuant to the
Agreement provided Halliburton unfettered access to Ecosphere's
technological, strategic and business trade secrets. After Halliburton made
an offer to purchase Ecosphere and negotiations broke down, Ecosphere
alleges Halliburton wrongfully used Ecosphere's trade secrets to immediately
market itself as an environmentally friendly company, form a venture known
as Blu Energy Solutions to "provide well-site recycling technologies and
holistic water management solutions to the oil and gas industry with the
goal of reducing disposal costs and minimizing waste volumes" and acquire
trademarks and patents.
Trial Attorneys Theodore Leopold and Gregory Weiss of Leopold Law, P.A. and
Patent Attorney Michael Slavin of McHale & Slavin, P.A., both in Palm Beach
Gardens, Florida, represent Ecosphere in this demand for arbitration. Upon
submitting this claim, Mr. Weiss commented, "Halliburton clearly saw our
client's innovative product as both a valuable asset and a threat to their
own business model. We believe they deliberately ignored their obligations
under the confidentiality agreement and misappropriated Ecosphere's highly
guarded trade secrets for their own use." Michael Slavin added, "Ecosphere
spent significant time and resources developing its cutting edge green
technology trade secrets and related IP, only to have the highest level
Halliburton decision-makers use them as their own."
For more information, please visit:
About Ecosphere Technologies
Ecosphere Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB:ESPH) is a water engineering, technology
licensing and innovative manufacturing company that develops non-chemical
water treatment solutions for industrial markets throughout the world. The
Company is a leader in emerging advanced oxidation processes and has an
extensive portfolio of intellectual property that includes five United States
("U.S.") patents for the Ecosphere Ozonix process. The patented Ecosphere
Ozonix process is a revolutionary advanced oxidation process that is currently
being used by energy exploration companies to reduce costs, increase treatment
efficiencies and eliminate liquid chemicals from wastewater treatment
operations around the United States.
A recipient of Frost & Sullivan's 2012 North American Product Leadership Award
in Disinfection Equipment for Shale Oil and Gas Wastewater Treatment,
Ecosphere has enabled oil and gas customers to recycle and reuse over two
billion gallons of water on more than 600 oil and natural gas wells in major
shale plays around the United States since 2008.
For more information, please visit www.EcosphereTech.com.
To receive timely information on Ecosphere Technologies, sign up for
Ecosphere's email news alert system at http://www.ESPH-IR.com.
The Ecosphere Technologies, Inc. logo is available at
About Leopold Law
Leopold Law, P.A. is a boutique litigation firm with a proven record of
fighting injustice and our attorneys have over 100 years of combined
litigation experience. The firm is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens,
Florida, with offices located at 2925 PGA Boulevard and can be contacted at +1
(561) 515-1400. For more information about Leopold Law, P.A., visit the
firm's website at www.leopold-law.com.
About McHale & Slavin
McHale & Slavin, P.A. limits its practice to intellectual property services,
including prosecution, litigation, and related transactional services. The
firm is located at 2855 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.For more
information, visit the firm's website at www.mchaleslavin.com.
+1 (561) 515-1400
Gary Dvorchak, CFA
Senior Vice President
+1 (310) 954-1123
Press and Media Relations:
+1 (203) 682-8268
Director of Marketing
Ecosphere Technologies, Inc.
+1 (772) 287-4846
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