Yates Petroleum settles allegations over royalties

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Associated Press

Posted on January 4, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 9:02 PM

DENVER (AP) — Prosecutors say Yates Petroleum Corp. has agreed to pay $416,000 to settle allegations that it may have underreported the royalties it owed for natural gas recovered from federal leases in Wyoming.

The Artesia, N.M.-based company was accused of using unapproved meters to measure how much gas it recovered from 12 leases in the Powder River Basin. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver says the company may have underreported how much gas it collected, and therefore how much it owed in royalties to the federal government, between May 2009 and April 2012.

Yates Petroleum said Friday it believes its royalty payments were materially correct. It contends it inadvertently allowed small volumes of gas to flow through some of the metering devices while it was working to shut them down.

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