SHELL OIL TO PAY OVER $2 MILLION TO SETTLE QUI TAM LAWSUIT FOR UNPAID ROYALTIES OWED TO GOVERNMENT
Shell Oil Company and its subsidiaries Shell Offshore Inc., Shell Frontier Oil & Gas Inc., and Shell Western Exploration and Production, have agreed to settle a qui tam lawsuit and pay the US government $2.2 million, plus interest. In exchange, the US government will release Shell for its fraud claims for violation of the False Claims Act by underpaying the government royalties for mineral leases (natural gas in this case) from federal land or leases.
In a news story reported by eNewsPF, the Assistant Secretary for the Department of Interior, Chris Henderson, said “We are required to ensure that energy companies accurately report production and pay the required royalties,” said Chris Henderson, Acting Assistant Secretary for the DOI’s Office of Policy, Management and Budget. “We will continue to pursue any case where companies do not follow the rules.”
The False Claims Act investigation, prosecution and settlement negotiations were conducted by the Justice Department’s Civil Division and the Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue, with assistance from the Department of the Interior’s Office of Inspector General, and Office of the Solicitor.
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