ZL Chemicals Ltd (“ZL” or “the Company”), a Houston-based supplier of friction reducer/lubricants to the oil and gas industry in the U.S., with production plants in Houston and Midland, along with its sister companies, filed counterclaims against SNF SA (SNF France), SNF Oman and their Omani affiliate, Petroleum Polymer Co., LLC (“Collectively SNF entities”) on September 21, 2021.
ZL Group will prove that 86% of ZL Chemicals’ polyacrylamide-based products, also known as “friction reducer products,” are manufactured in the United States, while the remaining 14% are produced in Oman, refuting SNF’s allegations of product origin that were alleged without merit. ZL’s counterclaim further alleges that SNF fabricated a claim in the Southern District of Texas for the sole purpose of tarnishing ZL’s reputation, with the intent of driving the Company out of the market. Among other things, ZL contends that SNF made misleading and disparaging statements to customers and negatively portrayed the Company.
”This is a situation where SNF, a multinational company with extensive market share and tremendous resources, is determined to prevent competitors from entering the U.S. market and has launched false accusations against ZL in hopes of protecting its business,” said Paul Lord, Vice President of IBD and Technology. “Essentially, this is a David versus Goliath situation. We are a family-run company, and our talented team has built a reputation as a dependable, innovative and ethical company that solves our oil and gas customers’ toughest challenges. We are committed to prosecuting all claims against SNF to the fullest extent of the law.”
In its countersuit, ZL charges SNF group with four claims, all of which were a response to SNF’s unfair, damaging and anticompetitive practices:
- Tortious interference with a contract
- Unfair competition by deceptive trade practices
- Civil conspiracy
ZL Group is requesting that the court enter judgment in its favor for the above injuries as well as a declaration that ZL Group has not misrepresented the origin of its friction reducer products marketed for sale in the United States.
SNF has engaged in unfair, damaging and unlawful business practices. ZL Group has laid out ample examples of these deceptive actions in its response and is confident that the Court will enter judgment in its favor.
Greenberg Traurig is serving as ZL Group’s counsel in the matter.
Sara Blair Gillette