Houston-based Chimera Energy Corp. announced on Tuesday that it had received drilling logs from Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the Mexican state-owned petroleum company, and had “formulated a 90-day schedule for the first deployment” of its nonhydraulic shale oil extraction in Mexico’s Chicontepic Basin, even as concerns arose about the accuracy of many of the company’s statements.
“A majority of Chicontepic Basin wells show to have extremely large pocket reserves off of the main well bore, which may be easier to open up with the focused pressures designed into the nonhydraulic extraction system as opposed to regular hydraulic fracking [fracking],” Chimera said Tuesday. “The company plans to use the resulting data from Mexico to further proliferate the new technology worldwide.”
Chimera has become embroiled in a controversy after a pair of scathing reports published last month at seekingalpha.com claimed the company is not actually in business with Pemex and has “no tangible value.” Chimera has a single employee, tangible equity of just $4,549 and virtually no revenue, but it has collected an estimated $8.2 million through sales of its shares, according to the anonymous authors of the Seeking Alpha articles, who acknowledged that they are short shares of Chimera “but stress that the amount of shares is insignificant as a percentage of our assets.”
In an Aug. 28 letter to shareholders CEO Charles Grob addressed the “blatant lies” that he said were being spread about his company.
“Over the past three weeks Chimera has become the target of what can only be described as a blatant misinformation campaign. These self-described ‘shorters’ are running a highly coordinated campaign against our company consisting of falsehoods, slander and innuendo. This campaign has consisted of misleading and libelous articles posted on the trading website Seeking Alpha, attempts to extort information from our employees and attorneys, hundreds of repetitive postings clogging company message boards, not to mention the highly illegal practice of naked shorting,” Grob wrote to shareholders.
In response to the “shorters” campaign, which Grob said has included online videos that “attacked my family and included their contact information,” the CEO said he is “working with our attorneys to devise a litigation strategy for getting to the bottom of this campaign. It will not be easy to find the perpetrators. They are well hidden behind anonymous e-mail accounts and fake names. Our efforts may not lead to the ultimate perpetrators, but they will certainly expose the truth behind this attack campaign.”
A Pemex spokesperson told NGI‘s Shale Daily that the company has issued no statements about any current or possible contracts with Chimera. “Every year, Pemex enters into hundreds of contracts with different suppliers; likewise, we carry out negotiations with many more. Some of them never become formal agreements or contracts,” said spokesperson Carmina Moreno.
A review of more than 65,500 contracts — including nearly 2,700 Pemex contracts — published at www.compranet.gob.mx, an online system where all Mexican federal government entities publish their contracts with third parties, found no mention of Chimera.
Pemex’s reluctance to confirm or deny any involvement with Chimera “is understandable considering the size and scope of the organization,” Grob said in an e-mail to NGI‘s Shale Daily on Wednesday. “Our contacts in Mexico have been working around the clock to resolve this issue. We anticipate our concerns to be alleviated soon.”
Since launching a media blitz at the end of July, Chimera has issued almost two dozen press releases touting its nonhydraulic extraction system and its relationship with Pemex. The company’s website features a countdown clock marking the days, hours, minutes and seconds remaining till deployment of the system in the Chicontepec Shale field.
Chimera said in late August Pemex had agreed to use Chimera’s extraction system on three wells in the Chicontepic Basin (see Shale Daily, Aug. 27). The system was designed to replace fracking without using water, natural gas “or the pumping of anything hot into the well,” Chimera said. In a flurry of press releases in recent weeks, Chimera also said it is in the process of reengineering the method for mass production, relicensing and sales, and would present the system at the North American Prospect Expo to be held in Houston in February. Chimera has said it is keeping details of the process under wraps “until the company has their patent in hand…” (see Shale Daily, Aug. 2).
Pemex plants to spend $200 million over the next three years exploring two shale formations in the country for natural gas, a Mexican government official said Tuesday (see related story).
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