Penn West settles lawsuits over accounting errors, but admits no wrongdoing

CALGARY – Penn West Petroleum Ltd. has reached agreements to settle a bevy of class-action lawsuits stemming from accounting errors it discovered in 2014.

The settlement in the Canadian and U.S. cases will be fully funded by the company’s insurance, meaning its cash resources and financial position won’t take a hit.

In July 2014, Penn West’s (TSX:PWT) new management team said it had discovered that hundreds of millions of dollars in expenses had been improperly classified under the company’s previous leadership.

The Calgary-based oil and gas producer was forced to restate its financial reports for 2012, 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. The stock plummeted by 14 per cent the day after that announcement.

“The settlement agreements contain no admission of liability or wrongdoing and include full releases of Penn West, current and former directors and officers of Penn West and others,” the company said in a release Tuesday.

“Penn West is settling the class action proceedings in order to avoid the continuing risks, uncertainties and costs of litigation.”

The settlements are subject to court approval in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and New York.