Drillinginfo's (http://www.drillinginfo.com) Allen Gilmer related the following to me last weekend...
"We bought Penn Energy Data in mid 2004 from Pennwell Corporation, who, in turn, had acquired it from the company that had acquired the combined oilfield data companies that we all used as oil people, due to an FTC ruling about this company having a monopoly on historical oil and gas information for the US. I can't tell you the name of the current behemoth that goes by its initials or the predecessors in name due to the agreement itself. The database contains historical oil and gas production and well header information, including scout cards from 32 states and is the core of what we call Super Scout in Drillinginfo that can be searched from the search hub or accessed well by well in the well hub page".
"In any case, we were trying to make a big splash out of our acquisition of this valuable dataset, and we sent out a press release that had a headline tha read something like 'DRILLINGINFO ACQUIRES MISSION CRITICAL OIL AND GAS DATABASE" with test that read that the US oilpatch depended on this data for its very existence. You know, marketing hyperbole".
"Within two or three weeks, we started getting strange phone calls at all our main office in Austin, and at our sales offices in Houston, Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, Denver, and Midland from a gentleman with an Arabic accent wanting physical addresses for each office. We had put a PO Box on the press release and did not put the physical addresses on the site at the time. He would get quite heated when we wanted to know why he wanted the address".
"Eventually, we even had a slight FBI interest in this... where they called us due to finding a DI URL address in a notebook computer in a seemingly unrelated case. 'Great, Gilmer... you are going to get us all killed because your marketing hyperbole', everyone was saying at the office. We could just picture it, a bunch of guys holed up in a cave in Pakistan monitoring Yahoo for Oil and Gas news, when our press release pops up. 'Allah Akbar, we have news on how to bring the petroleum business of the Great Satan to its very knees! Surely this must be a message from God. Mohammed, round up two or three of your fourth string proto-martyrs and get to this Austin, Texas to destroy the nerve center immediately. No need for highjacking aircraft here, just rent the cheapest car you can and buy class C fireworks and make sure your martyrs are willing to lose a finger or put out an eye for Jihad!".
"<Open Choke>, In the interest of our employees, I would appreciate it if you were to state publicly that, although very proud of what we have accomplished in these seven years, very proud of the fact that we have 3000 plus energy companies subscribing to Drillinginfo and using it every day, and very proud of the new American wealth we have helped create within our subscribers, these companies pay FAR more, by an order of 10 at least, for less information, to the public company that was originally forced to divest the open license we eventually acquired. We are merely mice dancing feverishly to avoid being crushed by the mighty elephant. Their Lat Long is about 39.59 -104.89. Allah Akbar!"