August 11, 2005 10:38 ET

Roxar Wins Court Ruling to Protect Its Multiphase Flow Meter Technologies

STAVANGER, NORWAY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 11, 2005 -- Roxar AS, a leading technology solutions provider to the upstream oil and gas industry, today announced that it has won a ruling in the Norwegian Court of Appeal ('Gulating Lagmannsrett') to protect its industry-leading multiphase flow meter technology from unlawful use by other companies. The verdict came on Friday, August 5th, 2005.

The Court of Appeal ruled against Norwegian company, FlowSys AS, founded by former employees of Roxar in 1999, and the technologies behind its TopFlow and Wellsense (SubFlow) multiphase meters. The court overturned the original ruling, which found in favor of FlowSys in May 2003, stating that it had "every reason to question whether the persons involved have acted as cautiously as they should have in relation to a former employer."

The Court of Appeal continued that the "common interest in highly qualified employees being able to leave an employment without being impeded from using their specialist competence to develop new products" should "be balanced against the concern that a company which invests in product development as Roxar (then known as Fluenta) has done, should be reasonably secure that key personnel will not take with them the competence they have built up and use it in a competitive enterprise." The Court of Appeal concluded that "in the current case, it is this (latter) concern which must be decisive."

The Court ordered FlowSys to refrain from producing, selling or marketing its TopFlow and Wellsense (SubFlow) multiphase flow meters for a period of three years. In addition, Roxar was awarded US$1.25 million (8 million NOK) in damages and US$310,000 (2 million NOK) in court costs. As the ruling only covers Norway, a similar suit has also been filed by Roxar in the United States Courts against FlowSys Inc. FlowSys has already indicated that it intends to appeal the Norwegian ruling to the Norwegian Supreme Court.

Gunnar Hviding, Managing Director, Roxar Flow Measurement, commented on the ruling:

"As an industry-leader and technology innovator in the oil and gas instrumentation market, Roxar takes great pride in its multiphase meters. While we welcome competition as a means of encouraging innovation and moving our industry forward, it is paramount that this competition takes place on a level playing field where intellectual property, confidentiality agreements and the many years of research & development which goes into developing such products, are respected. Otherwise it will be impossible to attract investments into technology companies."

Roxar CEO, Sandy Esslemont continued:

"In today's competitive global Exploration & Production (E&P) industry where success is measured by performance, production and profits, companies, such as Roxar, have to provide the very best in technology innovation -- something that our multiphase flow meters do. Today's court decision is a full vindication of our approach to protect our intellectual property and standing in the market and we look forward to continuing to be a market leader for many years to come."

Roxar's multiphase flow meters make well testing operations quicker and more efficient as well as providing valuable new information for the diagnosis and optimization of a well's production performance. Its meters are designed to continuously measure the flow rates of oil, water and gas in the well stream without the need for separation. The information is then used to determine the optimal production capacity of each well over the lifetime of the field, thereby avoiding the risk of overproducing the well, while at the same time, accelerating production and increasing recovery.

Roxar creates value for its customers through its Reservoir Interpretation, Reservoir Modeling, Reservoir Simulation, Well and Completion, Production and Process Solutions and Consultancy Services.

Note to Editors:

About Roxar

Roxar is a leading international technology solutions provider to the upstream oil and gas industry. The company creates value for its customers through innovative products and services that help achieve maximum performance from oil and gas reservoirs.

With its head offices in Stavanger, Norway, Roxar employs close to 500 staff across a network of wholly owned offices in Europe, the Americas, Africa, CIS, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Founded in May 1999, the company generated revenues of approximately US$100 million in 2004. Roxar's International customer base includes all of the multinationals, major independents and the majority of national oil companies.

Contact Information

  • For Further Information:
    Sandy Esslemont (USA)
    CEO, Roxar Group
    Tel: +1 713 482 6439
    Email: Email Contact

    Ådne Grødem (Europe)
    CFO, Roxar Group
    Tel: +47 51 81 88 23
    Email: Email Contact

    Gunnar Hviding
    Managing Director, Roxar Flow Measurement
    Tel: +47 51 81 88 75
    Email: Email Contact

    Jeanette Halford
    Marketing Operations Manager
    Tel: +44 (0) 208 971 4000
    Email: Email Contact

    Paul Fisher
    Axiom Communications Management
    Tel: +44 (0) 1285 713 776
    Fax: +44 (0) 1285 713 071
    Email: Email Contact