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

ONRR assessed the penalty on the Denver-based independent exploration and production company after it failed to correct royalty and production reports for 35 leases, despite repeated assurances to ONRR that it would do so, according to ONRR.

QEP paid a total of $1,207,800 and is in the process of correcting all of its inaccurate reports. The penalty covers royalty and production reports from March 2008 through December 2009, ONRR said.

"Improper reporting hampers audit resources and distorts mineral volume information used by the public and other government agencies," said Paul A. Mussenden, Interior's deputy assistant secretary for Natural Resources Revenue Management. "We remain committed to collecting every dollar due."

QEP's production and exploration operations are focused mainly in the Rocky Mountain and Midcontinent regions. It also gathers, compresses, treats and processes natural gas. At year-end 2011 it had proved reserves of 3.61 Tcfe. Current production of more than 800 MMcfe/d is approximately 82% gas.

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