Kerr-McGee Settles Suit Over MMS Royalty Payments

By Christopher Norton (January 5, 2012, 7:58 PM EST) -- A Colorado federal judge on Thursday signed off on a settlement between the U.S. and Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Corp. to end longstanding litigation over shortfalls in the company's royalty payments to the now-defunct Minerals Management Service.

In September 2010, the court ruled that Kerr-McGee must pay the federal government $22.9 million. The award of more than $7.6 million — calculated by a jury then trebled in accordance with the False Claims Act — should stand even though the MMS itself did not think it had been cheated, U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger ruled.

The U.S. asked in December to be...

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