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Criminal Justice & Legal System

State settles case against Chesapeake Energy

michiganwatchgasdrilling4.jpg
Bureau of Land Management
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A natural gas drilling rig in Wyoming. Regulators in Michigan say they're ready to handle more of these drilling rigs.

Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Friday afternoon the state agreed to settle its case against Chesapeake Energy. The allegations stem from an auction for drilling leases on state land.

In May 2010, one auction brought in $178 million, an incredibly huge record.

The state alleges Chesapeake and another energy company, Calgary-based Encana Oil & Gas, then conspired not bid against each other at the next auction. Prices plummeted 97%.

Complaints that Chesapeake fraudulently canceled oil and gas leases with hundreds of private citizens were also settled. The company will pay $44 million in total.

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