OSLO: A Norwegian oil company that illegally operated a well on federal property in North Dakota has agreed to pay a nearly $2 million settlement to avoid legal action, federal prosecutors announced.
Authorities say the well was drilled about two weeks after Statoil Oil & Gas Services Inc. acquired Brigham Oil & Gas L.P., which had originally planned the facility. The company later discovered that the well drilled into unleased federally owned minerals.
Timothy Purdon, U.S. Attorney for North Dakota, credited Statoil for its willingness to settle the case without forcing the government to file a civil suit.
“It is heartening to see a big oil company like Statoil step up … to make things right when a mistake is made,” Purdon said. “Statoil’s full co-operation with this investigation stands out as the sort of good corporate citizenship we want to encourage in the Bakken oil producing region.”