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DENVER — PDC Energy Inc., the second-largest producer of oil in Weld County, has paid $688,500 to settle a complaint from the U.S. Department of Justice over claims that it drilled on federal land.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Colorado said in a statement Tuesday that PDC drilled and pumped from a well about halfway between Eaton and Ault from July 2013 to April 2019 that contained federally owned minerals.

PDC has agreed to apply for a lease on the property within 30 days and pay royalties for any minerals sold from the well starting from 2019 onward, according to a settlement agreement between the two parties.

The well produced 82,076 barrels of oil and 163,016 metric cubic feet of natural gas during that period, according to data from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

PDC did not return a request for additional comment Wednesday.

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