Hart Energy Publishing and Hart Energy Mapping & Data Services have been sued by American Energy Mapping (AEM). The lawsuit alleges that Hart Energy used fraudulent means to obtain protected information from AEM. According to the lawsuit, Hart Energy used a third party to pose as an AEM client in an attempt to gain access to competitor information.
The lawsuit accuses Hart Energy of fraud, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty and interference with existing and future contracts. The lawsuit was filed on May 7 in Montgomery County District Court in Texas. The case number is 13-05-04872 in the 410th District Court, Judge K. Michael Mayes presiding.
Damien Wolff, the owner of American Energy Mapping, said that Hart Energy was using malicious means to attempt to put his smaller company out of business. Wolff portrayed the dispute as a “David versus Goliath” struggle and said that his company was being “bullied” by unethical and predatory tactics by the larger company.
AEM is an energy geographic information sytem (GIS) data provider that provides information within oil, natural gas and renewable energy datasets. The company operates an online GIS data store that offers information about natural gas and crude oil pipelines and wells, as well as land survey data. The company claims to be an innovator in the GIS data field in that it provides the ability for companies to purchase specific data online without subscribing to data services such as those offered by larger companies.
Hart Energy, based in Houston, is a large provider of news, data and analysis for the energy industry. The company publishes newsletter, magazines and directories in print form and online. Hart Energy’s publications provide oil and gas investors with information on exploration, production and business opportunities. The company also publishes specialized reports and custom publications for clients and provides member-only electronic portals for data about the oil and gas drilling industry.
A recent survey by Hart Energy found that unpredictable prices for oil and gas are the primary concern of U.S. energy companies. The Survey of Upstream U.S. Energy Companies, published by Hart Energy and Grant Thornton LLP, also found that exploration and land acquisition are companies’ top priorities. Hart Energy recently announced its annual Crude in Motion conference, to be held in Houston on October 30. The conference will feature information about the crude oil and liquids transportation industry.