You might recall that earlier this year Michigan’s attorney general filed charges against two energy giants.
Encana Oil and Gas USA and Chesapeake Energy were accused of colluding to lower the price of land leases for oil and gas exploration.
Last Friday, a Michigan Cheboygan County District Court judge ruled that Chesapeake Energy Corp must face a criminal trial, citing evidence of a conspiracy between the companies.
Reuters quoted Judge Maria Barton of Michigan’s Cheboygan County District Court:
"The direct and circumstantial evidence established that the parties did in fact strike an agreement to bid-rig the State sale."
Part of that evidence could have come from Encana Oil. That company struck a plea deal with the State of Michigan in exchange for its help in Michigan's anti-trust case Chesapeake Energy. Encana also agreed to pay a $5 million fine.
This past May, MPRN's Rick Pluta reported:
If Encana lives up to its end of the bargain, the state will drop other criminal charges at a sentencing hearing in 11 months.
Chesapeake Energy is the nation’s second-largest producer of natural gas.