(CN) – BP agreed Friday to pay the U.S. government more than $20 million to resolve whistle-blower claims that it underpaid natural gas royalties from leases on Indian and federal land.
The $20.5 million settlement resolves claims that a number of BP entities deducted royalty values from natural gas they reported to the Department of the Interior. The government says BP also reported processed natural gas as unprocessed gas to reduce royalty payments.
This deal resolves a 1998 whistle-blower action brought by Harrold Wright in the Eastern District of Texas. Wright died in 2008, and his heirs will receive $5.3 million of the settlement.
The BP companies involved are BP Amoco, Amoco Production Company, BP Exploration & Oil, BP America, Atlantic Richfield, and Vastar.