BP Energy Co. agreed to pay $102 million to settle claims that it overcharged California for natural gas in contracts between 2003 and 2012.
State Attorney General Xavier Becerra called the deal announced Thursday a deterrent to businesses engaging in overcharging the state.
The case grew out of a BP whistleblower who said BP managers charged California more for natural gas than it billed others for the same product.
The case was set to go to trial later in January. BP was facing claims it had overcharged between $150 million to $300 million and the state sought triple damages.
BP said it settled to avoid protracted litigation and the potential of a loss at trial.