12/04/2012 05:18 EST | Updated 02/03/2013 05:12 EST

Arbitrator orders Wenzel Downhole Tools to pay $14.7 million in decision

CALGARY - Wenzel Downhole Tools Ltd. (TSX:WZL) said Tuesday it has been ordered by an arbitrator to pay $14.7 million in damages plus interest to Dreco Energy Services ULC and Vector Oil Tools ULC.

The company said it may also be responsible for a portion of Dreco and Vector's costs.

"While the company is disappointed by the contents of the award, the company believes the issuance of the award is yet another important step towards resolving the legal issues relating to events of over a decade ago," Wenzel said in a statement.

Dreco and Vector had accused Wenzel of inducing the former owner of Vector to violate a non-competition agreement he had with that company.

Under the arbitration agreement, the companies have until Jan. 2, 2013, to appeal the award.

Wenzel said it was consulting with its legal advisers regarding an appeal.

The arbitrator also dismissed a counterclaim by Wenzel against Dreco and Vector, which claimed damages for abuse of process and interference with its business.

Wenzel is a designer, manufacturer, seller and renter of drilling tools used in oil and gas exploration.