August 15, 2007
Burlington Resources Inc. (BRI) has agreed to pay $97.5 Million Dollars to settle qui tam claims filed by a private relator.
The allegations asserted by the private relator, were that BRI systematically under-reported the value of natural gas which BRI produced on lands which were owned, or held by, the Federal Government.
Under oil and gas leases, the federal government leases land owned by the government, or Indian Tribes, to oil and gas companies.
The oil and gas companies draw oil and gas from the land, and pays the government royalties based upon the production and value of oil and gas produced.
The more gas or oil they draw, the more royalties they own to the Federal Government.
By under-reporting the value of the gas it had drawn from property under one or more of these leases, BFI allegedly paid less than it owed to the Federal Government and various Indian tribes.
As a result of having filed a qui tam action to expose these allegations, the private relator who filed such action is expected to receive up to $24.3 Million Dollars, as a reward.
See USNewswire Release 8/15/07