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Offshore drilling rigs Offshore drilling rigs. Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

A Houston-based oil and gas company won an $11.2 million verdict for royalties wrongly withheld by Warrior Energy Services Corp. for a patented invention that has revolutionized offshore oil and gas drilling.

Oilfield Specialties owns the rights to co-owners Don Umphries and Gabe Williger’s invention, WIPER, which solves a problem that offshore drilling companies such as Exxon, Chevron and Anadarko experience when a pipe gets stuck in a hole, said Tanya Dugas Dawson, a partner in Raley & Bowick in Houston who represented Oilfield Specialties. Previously it took 10 days or more to clear a stuck pipe, but the men’s invention does the job within 32 hours. The time savings is valuable because it costs $1.5 million a day to operate a rig.

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Angela Morris

Angela Morris is ALM Media's Texas litigation reporter. She covers lawsuits in all levels of Texas state and federal courts. Based in Austin, Morris earned journalism and government degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006, and since then, has worked primarily as a reporter and writer, but also has skills in videography, photography and podcasts. Follow her on Twitter at @AMorrisReports.

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