"(DENVER) — The Interior Department has fined BP America $5.2 million for allegedly submitting false reports about energy production on an Indian reservation in Colorado.
The Interior Department said Wednesday that the U.S. unit of BP PLC repeatedly misreported royalty rates for natural gas on Southern Ute Indian tribal lands. (Read a brief history of BP.)
Interior spokesman Patrick Etchart said BP was not taking more natural gas than reported. Instead, BP at times reported erroneous royalty rates, or listed natural gas coming from the wrong wells, he said.
BP officials didn't immediately return a call seeking comment. (See pictures of people protesting against BP.)
Southern Ute auditors said they discovered incorrect reports in 2007 and reported them to BP, which blamed the misreporting on a computer glitch and promised to make changes. Etchart wasn't sure how far back the errors went. However, BP's reporting errors continued after the audit pointed out the problems, leading to the fine."