XTO Energy hit with federal fine, seeks stay

Posted Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The Office of Natural Resources Revenue has issued a $648,000 civil penalty against Fort Worth-based XTO Energy over the producer’s lack of response to requests for information related to an audit.

The agency, part of the U.S. Interior Department, said it asked for data in 2012 regarding production on a federal lease in Kansas. XTO did not comply with that request and “did not respond to numerous follow-up telephone and email messages referencing the request,” ONRR said in a news release.

In an email response to the Star-Telegram, XTO said Wednesday it has requested a hearing on the matter and on Oct. 18 filed a petition seeking a stay of the penalty.

The company said two Kansas wells are the focus of the audit. It said the wells were operated and sold by Ellora Operating LP prior to XTO’s acquisition of Ellora in late 2010.

For that reason, the company said, “locating the records involved was difficult and time-consuming. XTO did provide the required records. ONRR completed the audit, and assessed an additional amount in royalties, which XTO paid.”

In its release announcing the penalty, ONRR Director Greg Gould said that “XTO’s non-responsiveness to an audit information request prevented ONRR auditors from performing substantive steps in an audit of one of XTO’s federal oil and gas properties.”

ONRR collects and disburses revenue on energy production from onshore federal and American Indian lands and from offshore production on the Outer Continental Shelf. It disbursed $12.15 billion in 2012.

Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552 Twitter: @jimfuquay

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