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Oil Company To Pay $2M For Illegal Well In North Dakota

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Norway-based oil company that illegally operated a well in North Dakota that was established by another company has agreed to pay a nearly $2 million settlement to avoid legal action in the case.

Authorities say the well was drilled in December 2011 on unleased federal land about two weeks after Statoil Oil & Gas Services Inc. acquired Brigham Oil & Gas L.P.

An investigation that began two years later discovered that Statoil had produced and sold federally owned oil and natural gas valued at nearly $2 million.

U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon says Statoil's cooperation in the investigation and willingness to settle the case without a lawsuit showed "good corporate citizenship."

A Statoil spokeswoman could not be immediately reached for comment.

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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