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Mobil Took Tribes & U.S. for $32 Million

(CN) - ExxonMobil will pay $32.2 million for "systematically" underreporting the amount of natural gas it took from Native American and U.S. government lands from 1988 to 1999, the Justice Department said Monday.

Various Mobil companies merged and became subsidiaries of ExxonMobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil and gas company, in 1999. In addition to underreporting extraction, the companies claimed excessive transportation costs, the Justice Department said.

The whistleblower lawsuit was originally filed by Harold Wright, a private citizen. The Justice Department intervened and settled with Burlington Resources for $105.3 million, Shell Oil Co. for $56 million, Chevron, Texaco and Unocal for $45.5 million, and Dominion Exploration and Production Co. for $2 million.

Wright died. His heirs will get $975,000 from the settlement.

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