Litigation

Case Histories – Intellectual Property

  • Signa experts provided research that showed theft of trade secrets regarding blowout preventer (BOP) technology.
  • A team of Signa engineers and graphics specialists reviewed several multilateral drilling processes to determine if a patent had been infringed upon. Extensive application studies were conducted with an economist on economic projections (10-year span) to demonstrate the monetary setback suffered by the patent holder.
  • Signa researched and answered technical questions involving the use of numerous patented well-treatment services. Experts analyzed well treatment service records to determine the patent had been infringed upon.
2018-06-11T10:09:40+00:00 June 11, 2018|Intellectual Property|0 Comments

Case Histories – Personal Injury

  • Our team represented a client in the Macondo blowout that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2008. Signa was deposed and our client was dismissed as a defendant.
  • Signa demonstrated that a service company was not responsible (either by omission or commission) for a personal injury/fatality incurred by a third party.
  • Signa engineers demonstrated that an operator was not responsible for personal injury/fatality after a wellhead was damaged by forklift operator error.
  • Our team investigated casing that fell out of position during makeup. Signa demonstrated the derrick was not centered over the hole, making casing handling hazardous.
  • Signa showed how a failure in a BOP stack element occurred during Managed Pressure Drilling, resulting in a blowout, extensive property damage, and injuries to the crew.
  • Signa engineers testified at trial to demonstrate how an injury was not caused by the client or client’s equipment during tripping operations at the rigsite.
2018-06-11T09:32:11+00:00 June 11, 2018|Personal Injury|0 Comments

Case Histories – Operational Errors

  • A Signa expert was deposed and testified at trial regarding regulatory changes in the wake of the Macondo blowout.
  • Signa conducted multiple research projects to clearly define industry-accepted practices with regards to operators in the oilfield.
  • Signa’s team of experts investigated a contract lawsuit in which the operator had spent tens of millions in the client’s money without performing the objectives in the development plan. Our engineer testified at trial to prove the operator had not performed according to operator standards as outlined in the contract.
  • Signa testified as to the exact cause of a blowout and destruction of an oil well. Testimony involved clarifying drilling fluids, drillstring depth, downhole equipment, and illustrating the destructive elements that caused the fire.
  • Signa investigated a groundwater and soil contamination case on a sensitive oil and gas operations site. Our team of engineers and writing/graphics specialists combined petroleum engineering, geology, environmental science and geo-hydrology to resolve the case.
  • Signa investigated a case regarding a defendant’s right to dump waste in a specified area.
  • Our team analyzed a multi-well drilling operation in a severe sour gas field (H2S, CO2) to determine if the operator was performing the necessary safety initiatives required by law.
2018-06-11T09:19:52+00:00 June 11, 2018|Operational Errors|0 Comments

Case Histories – Equipment Failures

  • Signa testified for a case in which a blowout preventer (BOP) stack element failed during Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD), causing extensive property damage and injuries.
  • Signa testified as to the exact cause of a blowout and destruction of an oil well. Testimony involved clarifying drilling fluids, drillstring depth, downhole equipment, and illustrating the destructive elements that caused the fire.
  • Our team demonstrated that extensive surface damage and downhole damage to a well was caused by equipment failure, not improper operation.
  • Our engineers reviewed an HIS coupling failure and performed torque and drag analysis to show the root cause of the failure.
  • Signa analyzed a case in which a tubing part had occurred, but demonstrated that operational error had actually caused the loss of the well.
  • Signa demonstrated a section of the bottom hole assembly (drilling jars) failed and caused a profit loss for the turnkey contractor.
2018-06-11T09:20:10+00:00 June 11, 2018|Equipment Failures|0 Comments

Case Histories – Casing Failures

  • Signa has been represented both plaintiffs and defendants for numerous recent failures of P-110 grade casing and connections. Some were due to manufacturing issues; however, our experts have shown that a high number of failures can be traced back to errors in hole design and operational misuse.
  • Signa proved that an operator did not perform a formal casing design. The operator simply used a cookie-cutter casing design from an offset well without reevaluation. Through research and testimony, Signa proved P-110 was the incorrect grade for the downhole environment.
  • Our team of experts showed improper casing-running resulted in excessive stresses. In this case, the stresses caused cold-working of the steel, which led to premature failure. The operator was responsible for the excessive operational issues that damaged the
  • A Signa expert witness testified that P-110 casing is highly susceptible to acid gases such as H2S and CO2. In this case, the operator improperly used high-strength casing in the sour gas environment. Using graphics and written verbiage, Signa explained the limited P-110 envelope in the presence of either CO2 or H2S.
  • Signa has shown (in reports and testimony) that P-110 casing and connection failures resulted from operational errors rather than manufacturing oversights, including:
    • Downhole pressure, temperature, and chemical environment
    • Tensile, compression and collapse loads, in conjunction with buckling, impact or vibration
    • Operational stress condition at the time of failure
    • Premature connection or seal failure due to improperly applied torque
    • Mud chemistry, such as free hydrogen contribution to hydrogen embrittlement or stress corrosion cracking
    • Coupling failures from improper application of thread profile or non-optimal makeup
    • Frac stimulation failure due to improperly specified pipe or high-risk wellbore geometry
    • Casing wear during operations
    • Improper handling (loading, trucking, unloading) between the mill and well site resulting in premature failure
2018-06-11T09:20:25+00:00 June 11, 2018|Casing Failures|0 Comments

Case Histories – Patent Infringement

  • Signa showed that a number of downhole tool patents were infringed upon, and that a person of ordinary skill in the art (POSITA) would have understood the relevant technology in the accused’s submitted patents was infringing upon that technology.
  • Our team demonstrated the true inventor of an air drilling process after a patent was issued for that technique.
  • Signa’s team of engineers and graphics specialists reviewed several multilateral drilling processes to determine if a patent had been infringed upon. Extensive application studies were conducted with an economist on economic projections (10-year span) to demonstrate the monetary setback suffered by the patent holder.
  • Signa engineers answered technical questions in a patent case involving the use of numerous patented well-treatment services. Signa analyzed well treatment service records to determine the patent had been infringed upon.
2018-06-11T09:59:50+00:00 May 30, 2018|Patent Infringement|0 Comments
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