BP share price: Group raises Lake Michigan spill estimate

on Mar 28, 2014
Updated: Apr 9, 2020

iNVEZZ.com, Friday, March 28: BP Plc (LON:BP) has more than doubled the maximum estimate of how much crude oil spilled into Lake Michigan earlier this week from the group’s Whiting refinery in Northwest Indiana. The estimate update came as two US senators requested a meeting with the UK oil major over the spill.

BP’s share price has added one percent in London this morning.
**Lake Michigan spill update**
The US Coast Guard said yesterday in a statement that BP had updated the estimated amount of oil spilled into Lake Michigan to 15-39 barrels, based on the amount of oil recovered by the vacuum trucks, from the booms, or by hand on shore.
Reuters quoted BP as saying in a statement that it was “conducting further analysis to confirm this estimate”. An earlier assessment had placed the volume at nine to 18 barrels of crude.

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On Wednesday, BP confirmed that crude was spilt from its Whiting refinery in Indiana on Monday, as a result of a ‘malfunction’. (BP share price: Group’s refinery leaks oil into Lake Michigan)
The Chicago Tribune yesterday quoted the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as saying that the spill likely posed no long-term risks to Lake Michigan, which borders four US states and is the source of drinking water for seven million people in Chicago and the suburbs. The newspaper reported that the EPA was conducting an investigation into possible violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

**Senators request meeting with BP**
Meanwhile, two Illinois senators have requested a meeting with the UK company. Senators Mark Kirk, a Republican and Dick Durbin, a Democrat, have asked for a report about the cause of the spill, an analysis of the impact of the Whiting Refinery’s production increase and information on measures to prevent future spills.

“Any unanticipated spill is cause for concern, but given the Whiting refinery’s recent expansion of its operations to double the amount of heavy oil sands being processed, this spill raises questions about the long-term safety and reliability of BP’s new, expanded production at Whiting,” Durbin and Kirk said in a joint statement.

The Lake Michigan spill comes at a sensitive time for BP, ahead of the third phase of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill trial which will determine the amount of penalties the UK energy giant will have to pay under the Clean Water Act.
The incident also comes shortly after the EPA lifted its ban on BP which prevented the company from bidding on contracts with the US government, with BP agreeing to a set of safety, ethics and corporate governance requirements. (BP share price: US lifts government contract ban) Under the terms of the agreement, the EPA has the authority to take action in the case of a breach.
**As of 08:54 UTC, buy BP shares at 480.45p.**
**As of 08:54 UTC, sell BP shares at 480.30p.**


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