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Thursday, August 16, 2012

S.L. Sibert Management & Construction v. Chesapeake Energy

Sam Sibert
A 21st Century epic version of David and Goliath appears to be taking place in the Lone Star State. Two successful corporations in the gas industry are preparing to litigate their sides of the story in the great state of Texas. One being an international giant in the gas industry, Chesapeake Energy, and the other a little known 100% minority owned corporation, S.L. Sibert Management and Construction, Inc (SLSMC).

Many are aware of the tremendous growth of Chesapeake Energy, with their herculean drilling for natural gas in the many Shales in regions across the United States, and also their recent major shakeups in their Oklahoma City based corporate headquarters. Not many know the story of S.L. Sibert M & C, and their successful climb to the top in the gas construction industry. This little know African American owned business has been around over 20 years. 

The story began with the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport accepting bids for major drilling , a part of the Barnett Shale natural gas discovery. Many corporations in the gas industry were required to submit bids for this major project. Chesapeake Energy was the successful benefactor of the process and began preparing to drill over 330 wells at DFW Airport.

A part of the agreement with D/FW Airport management was, in order to successfully bid, one must adhere to the M/WBE requirements, which includes minority participation. Chesapeake Energy met those requirements and accepted the terms of the agreement by vetting several minority owned businesses in the D/FW area and offering them an opportunity to participate. Several minority owned businesses submitted their required information, and prepared to begin their part in the drilling construction on the airport grounds after the announcement of Chesapeake’s successful bid. One of those companies was S.L. Sibert Management and Construction, headed by President and C.E.O., Sam L. Sibert.

What followed was the alleged changes that took place after the bid was awarded to Chesapeake Energy….not only was S.L. Sibert M&C, not going to be used in the gas drilling process, but the situation got so bad that communications with project management and upper management began to falter. Prior to the bidding opportunity, S.L. Sibert M & C was promised to do the underground pipeline for drilling support water and electrical with given prices per well by Chesapeake management. Not only did Sibert add additional equipment and prepare for more employees, but a significant amount of financing was necessary to successfully do the work.

After fighting for years to get his share of the agreement, most of the major work had been done, and Sibert suffered a tremendous blow. Now the Dallas County, 160th District Court, is preparing to hear this case, and perhaps David will fell another Goliath in the 21st Century. We’ll be watching.

The S. L. Sibert Company, Inc., formed in 1993, is a top pipeline construction company in the gas and electric industry.  SLSMC is currently a primary contractor for the Texas Utilities and Electric Company (TXU).  In 1996 S. L. Sibert became a prime contractor for TXU installing electrical services to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Sibert widen the field in 1999 by including gas services to its rapidly expanding range of capabilities when they signed an Alliance Contract with TXU-Gas. Under the Alliance Contract Sibert installs new gas services in the Western Regions of Dallas and Fort Worth.  In 2001 Sibert was able to showcase its advanced techniques in Directional Boring by completing a highly profiled water-line replacement job for Colleyville, Texas using a specific Boring method. The Colleyville water-line replacement was the first job of its kind completed in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

Sam L. Sibert is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington. Sibert played for Kentucky State University where he helped lead his team to two NAIA national championships. Sibert also played in the National Basketball Association for Kansas City-Omaha King. He is founder and CEO of S.L. Sibert Company and he built one of the largest construction companies in north central Texas with employees operating in several states including Oklahoma.

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