Oil & Gas Case Studies

The National Whistleblower Center has taken a look at several high profile cases in the oil and gas industry to highlight the type of fraudulent activities that can occur.

Fraudulent Reserve Reporting

The Shell reserves scandal shows that even the world’s oldest and largest oil and gas companies are not immune to the temptation to overstate their reserves.

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Fraudulent Accounting for the Costs of Climate Change

The first climate-change related securities class action against a major oil and gas company, Ramirez v. ExxonMobil Corporation, highlights how whistleblowers can identify potential securities fraud related to climate risks and oil and gas reserves.

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Fraudulent Royalties Payments

Using the qui tam provision of the False Claims Act, a group of whistleblowers revealed a nationwide conspiracy by more than a dozen oil and gas companies to systematically defraud the government by underpaying leasing royalties.

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Fraudulent Statements in Obtaining a Lease

Making false statements to obtain a permit, lease, or loan like BP did for the Deepwater Horizon rig falls under a powerful whistleblower provision, known as the reverse False Claims Act.

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Tax Evasion in the Oil and Gas Industry

Chevron’s Gorgon gas project in Australia was supposed to generate enough tax revenue to facilitate personal tax cuts for every Australian. Instead, most of the profits were siphoned off into offshore tax havens.

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Bribery in the Oil and Gas Industry

An investigation into widespread corruption in the oil and gas industry revealed a scheme by six oil and gas companies to use a third party to pay and conceal bribes to foreign officials.

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Bid-Rigging in the Oil and Gas Industry

The U.S. government’s first prosecution for mineral-rights leases concerned the collaboration on bids between competing oil and gas companies in Western Colorado.

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Fraudulent Oil and Gas Price Manipulation

Oil & gas prices impact nearly every level of our economy, from financial investors to companies producing petroleum products to consumers paying for gas. Fixing prices in commodities markets as was allegedly done in one recent case can harm traders, investors and consumers.

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Fraudulent Environmental Liability Estimates

A landmark investigation into Occidental Petroleum’s environmental disclosures revealed that major incidents of environmental damage can also help regulators identify equally significant financial fraud in liability disclosures.

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Fraud in Avoiding Antidumping and Countervailing Duties

Whistleblowers have successfully used reverse False Claims suits to stop industrial gas companies from dodging customs duties in cases such as Jackson vs. Linde.

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