Mobil Pays $45 Million in Past Oil Royalties
Mobil Oil Corp. paid $45 million to resolve U.S. and tribal claims that it systematically underreported the value of oil it produced on government and Indian land. The government charged that Mobil underpaid royalties on oil produced in California, the Rocky Mountain region and the Gulf of Mexico from 1980 to 1997. The settlement, which resolves whistle-blower charges previously under seal, could be the first in a series. Fifteen other oil companies face similar charges in the same case, the Justice Department said. The group of whistle-blowers in the Mobil case will receive $8.1 million. The U.S., 10 states and two Indian tribes will divide the rest of the money. Mobil Oil is a unit of Fairfax, Va.-based Mobil Corp., whose shares fell $1.06 to close at $69 on the NYSE.