BP identifies refinery source of bad gas
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent August 23, 2012 3:16PM
Workers from INSERV drain gas tanks from the BP statition on Indianapolis Blvd. in Whiting on Thursday August 23, 2012. the tanks are being drained do to the recent recall of BP gas. | Charles Mitchell~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 25, 2012 10:49AM
BP announced Thursday it has traced the source of the off-specification fuel to problems related to the alkylation unit at the company’s Whiting refinery.
“We have found the source,” Scott Dean, company spokesman said.
The refinery has made changes to operations at the plant to fix the problem and return fuels produced there back within normal specifications, according to a company statement.
BP continues to inspect and test the distribution system served by the refinery.
“We are chasing this wave of off-specification fuel out of the system,” Dean said. The company has confirmed that regular gasoline supplied to gas stations in Northwest Indiana, the Chicago area and Milwaukee is back within normal specifications. Testing of this gasoline will continue to ensure quality.
Midgrade and premium fuel sold from the Milwaukee terminal overnight Monday that was added to the recall is also back within normal specifications. As a precaution, the company temporarily halted distribution and sale of premium and midgrade gasoline in the Chicago area pending further testing.
The company has established a dedicated claims facility to speed processing of consumer calls and claims. BP has begun paying claims and is following up with consumers who have contacted the company.
On Thursday, class-action attorneys from Cohen & Malad LLP, of Indianapolis, and Theodoros & Rooth P.C., of Merrillville, announced they are filing a lawsuit against BP on behalf of plaintiffs who suffered vehicle engine damage caused by the bad gas.
More than 2 million gallons of off-specification fuel were shipped and are part of the company’s recall. More than 7,000 people have already contacted BP regarding claims.
“People deserve justice and assurance that a company like BP will be held accountable for its actions,” said Barry Rooth of Theodoros and Rooth P.C. Rooth said the suit seeks full compensation for the damages incurred by the thousands of motorists impacted by the bad gasoline.
Irwin Levin, managing partner at Cohen and Malad LLP, said the reports the firms have received indicate call center lines have been hard to reach, that no information will be given unless the caller wants to submit data and that no assurances will be made that any damages will actually be paid.
Dean said the company does not comment on pending litigation.
Any consumer who purchased off-specification fuel wishing to file a claim should call (800) 333-3991 or (800) 599-9040 to speak to a claims representative. Consumers should save sales receipts, credit/debit card records and repair bills. Consumers may also access information and submit an online inquiry at www.bpresponse.com.