ExxonMobil

(XOM) - Get Report

shares were easing late Friday after an Alabama jury's decision to order nearly $12 billion in punitive damages in a royalty dispute over offshore wells.

Exxon was ordered to pay $11.8 billion in punitive damages on top of $63 million in compensation for fraudulently withholding royalty payments on offshore gas wells it leases from the state.

The company will appeal the decision to the Alabama Supreme Court, saying it's excessive in light of this year's U.S. Supreme Court "State Farm" decision limiting punitive damages.

"The company did not engage in fraud, no evidence of fraud was established at trial, and fraud should never have been considered by the jury," said Sam Franklin, lead counsel for ExxonMobil. "The punitive award in this case defies common sense."

The shares were recently down 33 cents, or 1%, at $35.93.