Theft Ring Targeted Texas Deepwater Oil-Drilling Tech

A man was convicted in federal court of conspiracy to steal deepwater trade secrets, highlighting the fierce competition between the world’s economic superpowers for oil-drilling supremacy.

Shan Shi, 54, faces sentencing for conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets on 25 October, the US Justice Department said in a statement on 30 July. Shi led a ring of at least four other people that targeted syntactic foam, a key material for deepwater oil drillers that also has military and commercial uses, according to the statement.

Shi targeted Trelleborg AB’s Houston subsidiary and sought information for his own company for the benefit of a Taizhou, China-based company called CBM-Future New Material Science and Technology Co. Ltd., according to the statement. CBM sent Shi $3.1 million from 2014 to 2017. FBI counterintelligence agents spent years identifying and dismantling Shi’s “prolific network,” the Justice Department said.

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