Federal regulators hit XTO Energy with a $1.3 million civil penalty last Wednesday for failing to properly comply with a 2013 audit of the company’s federal oil and gas leases in North Dakota.
The U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenues said the Texas-based ExxonMobil subsidiary took a year to comply with an information request.
Deputy Interior Secretary Paul Mussenden told the AP that XTO delayed the audit and diverted resources from the investigation by failing to provide the information in a timely manner.
An XTO spokesperson said the company tried to provide the Interior Department with the requested information but had trouble immediately obtaining some contracts because some contracting firms had been sold to other companies.
XTO is planning to appeal the fine.
“We provided … all the information that was readily available in a timely manner. We believe there is no justification for this extremely disproportionate fine,” XTO spokesperson Suann Guthrie told the AP.
In 2013 XTO was hit with a $684,000 fine for a similar failure to provide timely information tied to a federal audit of two Kansas wells.
An appeal of XTO’s Kansas penalty is still pending.