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Oil firm agrees to settle bid rigging charges


LANSING (WKZO) -- Encana Oil has agree to pay the State of Michigan 5-million dollars and admit to a misdemeanor to settle charges it conspired with Chesapeake Energy to rig bids during auctions and private negotiations for oil and gas leases.

Attorney General Bill Schuette claims by agreeing to avoid bidding against each other, prices plummeted and the companies picked up the leases on the cheap.

The Delaware based energy firm has also agreed to a four years agreement with the state to be more transparent in bidding for the next four years.

The alleged conspiracy was uncovered by the Reuters News Agency and investigated by the Attorney General’s office.

An anti-trust case against Chesapeake Energy is ongoing, with preliminary hearings underway this week in Cheboygan.