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BP fined for falsifying royalty records on tribal leases

June 30, 2010 | 11:12 am

The news gets worse for BP.

On Wednesday, the Department of Interior assessed BP America Inc. a  civil penalty of $5.2 million for submitting “false, inaccurate, or misleading” reports for energy production on Southern Ute tribal land in southwestern Colorado.

Tribal auditors first brought the errors to the attention of BP three years ago after discovering that the company's reports were inaccurate in a number of ways, including using incorrect royalty rates. The company agreed to correct the problem, which it attributed to errors in automated files. But later audits showed that the errors continued, even after BP said it had resolved the issue.

That, according to Michael R. Bromwich, director of the newly organized Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, led the government to conclude "that BP’s continued submission of erroneous reports was knowing or willful.”

-- Julie Cart

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