By John BurtCNNMoneyMoney(CNNMoney)A year ago, the world’s biggest oil company Chevron was facing a $2.2 billion fine for falsifying data on the number of barrels of oil in its reserves.
Its chief executive, Joe Carducci, admitted to the company that he lied to investors and regulators about the oil market and its impact on the economy.
Chevron is still paying for the damage, but a number of other companies, including Exxon Mobil, BP and Chevron have also been fined.
Now, another company is facing fines for making oil changes that were not properly analyzed.
And the biggest company in the business is facing the possibility of being thrown out of business if the investigation is successful.
A year and a half ago, Exxon Mobil said it was preparing to pay $10 billion to settle civil claims by the US Department of Justice over its own oil and gas production.
The oil giant, which is known for its work on drilling and exploration, has long been at the center of the global industry’s investigations of fraud and mismanagement.
But now, the company’s financial and environmental performance is in question, as the DOJ is trying to find out if the company intentionally manipulated its data and whether it deliberately hid oil production from the government.
“We’re trying to prove that ExxonMobil’s data is accurate, but if they’re not accurate, we’re going to have to find them,” said Andrew C. Miller, a former chief financial officer at Exxon Mobil and now a partner at law firm Miller Samuel.
“The more money that’s out there, the more we’ll have to put in.”
The oil industry has been on the defensive since a series of investigations in the US began, and it has been under pressure to take aggressive action to prevent future fraud and other misconduct by companies it has long relied on to supply oil to its customers.
It’s a fight that has led to many companies getting into financial trouble, and some of those companies have faced financial consequences as a result.
The Exxon Mobil investigation was a big step for the company, which has a long history of dealing with investigations into its oil and other business activities.
In 2008, it was fined $3.9 billion by the Justice Department over accounting practices at its company.
And earlier this year, it had to pay a $10.5 billion fine to the US Securities and Exchange Commission for its manipulation of oil market data.
It is a long-running battle between regulators and the oil and natural gas industry, which argues that the oil companies have a duty to protect the public from inaccurate information in their own data.
“This is a very different situation than the Exxon Mobil case,” said James Gorman, an oil industry analyst at S&T Capital Markets.
“It’s going to be very hard for them to get out of it.”
It’s a battle that has already been waged in recent years by the oil industry’s competitors.
For years, companies have fought back against efforts by regulators to make it harder for them and other companies to take profits from oil production, such as by requiring them to disclose profits earned from drilling, producing or refining oil in the process of drilling or refining.
The industry has also fought back by suing the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming that the agency has no authority to regulate oil production.
Last year, Exxon and other oil companies won a major settlement with the US government over the same issue.
That settlement included an agreement to disclose the full value of their investments in oil and shale exploration projects to the public.
But with the investigation into Exxon Mobil’s finances now in full swing, some oil and oil industry experts are questioning whether the company should have to disclose its data to the government and whether any of the data was made available to regulators in the first place.
“If there’s any doubt about the integrity of ExxonMobil, they should be ashamed,” said Steve Bell, the former executive director of the Energy Information Administration, an independent agency that studies energy data.
Bell said that Exxon Mobil should have been more transparent about its data as well.
“It would have been far more informative, and would have made the case for a very significant increase in transparency, if ExxonMobil had disclosed this information,” Bell said.
“Instead, it chose to hide this information.”
Exxon Mobil is currently under investigation by the DOJ, the Securities and Securities Commissions, and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new investigation.
In its filing, the DOJ accused Exxon of lying to investors, which led to the collapse of the company.
The DOJ alleges that Exxon manipulated its oil price data in the mid-1990s, and then lied to regulators about that manipulation.
Exxon also violated its fiduciary duty to investors by lying about its financial health.