The $70 Million NDA
What’s the value of a good NDA? About $70 million if your name is Scott Van Dyke. In 2003, his company, Anglo-Dutch Petrolem, won a $70.4M damages claim against US oil giant Halliburton and Scottish oil exploration and development firm Ramco. This month, with a Texas court ordering it to hand over various assets, Ramco is struggling for survival.
In a nutshell, Halliburton and Ramco had both signed up to an NDA with Anglo-Dutch, supposedly to help it develop oilfields in Kazhaksthan. Van Dyke had been searching for Noah’s Ark in Turkey during the 1980’s when he met Turkish president Turgut Ozal, who later introduced him to the Kazhakstan opportunity. Halliburton and Ramco were found to have breached the NDA by providing confidential Anglo-Dutch information to another company, Golden Eagle, who used it to grab control of the project. At the end of all this, Anglo-Dutch was left out in the cold, with no interest in the oilfield.
Don’t let anyone tell you NDAs have no value.