The Interior Department's Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) has fined Denver-based producer QEP Resources Inc. $1.2 million for the "knowing or willful maintenance" of inaccurate oil and natural gas royalty and/or production reports on ONRR's financial system.

ONRR imposed the civil penalty after determining that QEP allegedly failed to correct royalty and production reports for 35 leases, following repeated assurances that it would do so, according to the agency.

The civil penalty covers royalty and production reports filed between March 2008 and December 2009. The $1.2 million fine includes penalties that have accrued through July 11, according to the revenue agency. Penalties are to continue to accrue for each reporting month until QEP corrects the reports, ONRR said. QEP is allowed to request a hearing.

The producer has been informed that the penalty assessment is independent of any additional royalties that may be due as a result of the incorrect reporting and associated interest, according to ONRR.

QEP's operations are trained on the Rocky Mountains and the Midcontinent. It has acreage in the Pinedale Anticline and Uinta Basin, the Bakken, Woodford and Haynesville shales, as well as the Granite Wash formation.

Through QEP Field Services, the company also provides natural gas gathering and processing services in the Rockies and in northwestern Louisiana.

At the end of 2011 QEP's proved reserves totaled 3.1 Tcfe. Current production is more than 800 MMcfe, which is 82% weighted to natural gas.

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