A little more on this issue:
From a partially unsubstantiated email:
This story does not seem to have made it into the Startlegram–at least not with the prominence it deserves. This charge of cheating on royalties is more likely than not, valid. I have it on good report that CHK is on a short list with the state of OK of companies that must be audited monthly to be sure they are not cheating the state. Also there was a published story not long ago about a $400 million penalty against CHK for deceptive financial practices on the East coast and another one for $10 million against CHK for cheating an OK school district about 4 years ago. Another OK gas drilling company, Devon, had a $15 million penalty assessed for the same kind of crooked financial dealing that CHK has used.
Has FW audited CHK for cheating on royalties?
So, lookie what I found! Email rumor partially substantiated.
In 2007, a Roane County jury handed down a penalty of more than $400 million against Chesapeake in a case over unpaid natural gas royalties to landowners.
But when you start looking for lawsuits and penalties paid by Chesapeake and Devon it damn near breaks down “the Google.”
I used to work in the oil and gas business. Cheating royalty owners is not a new concept.
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There’s a million and one different ways to “scr#w” people in the oil and gas business. Some of these guys are better and more consistent at it than others.
I do note that the $400M verdict against CHK involved an entity that CHK had bought out and thus it bought the bad acts of that company.