Marathon Oil, Dominion settle whistleblower case for Royalty Underpayments

Marathon Oil and Dominion Oklahoma Texas Exploration and Production have reached agreements with the US Justice Department to resolve claims that each company separately violated the Federal False Claims Act by knowingly underpaying royalties owed on natural gas production from federal and Indian leases, the Justice Department announced Friday. Marathon agreed to pay $4.7 million and Dominion will pay $2.2 million. The settlement arose from a lawsuit filed by Harold Wright, now deceased, under the so-called whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act. The Justice Department has intervened against several defendants in the Wright lawsuit. Settlements to date include agreements with: Burlington Resources, for $105.3 million; Shell for $56 million; Chevron, Texaco and Unocal, for $45.5 million; and Mobil for $32.2 million. Wright’s heirs receive
a percentage of the settlement amounts.