Marathon sues BP, claiming shoddy maintenance at refinery

By Laurel Brubaker Calkins, for Bloomberg News

Oct 11, 2016

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A Marathon Petroleum Corp. unit sued BP Plc subsidiaries over claims they left parts of a Texas City refinery in shoddy condition and lied about unfinished repairs and inspections when selling the complex to Marathon.

Marathon said in its lawsuit filed Monday in Houston federal court that BP promised in the sale agreement to leave the refinery in compliance with environmental laws and federal regulations, but left thousands of critical pressure vessels untested and more than 500 electrical components out of compliance when it turned the facility over. Marathon said it also had to modify or install new secondary spill-containment mechanisms to bring both critical safety systems up to code.

Marathon is seeking unspecified damages to cover the multimillion-dollar cost of completing plant-wide safety inspections, repairs, and upgrades BP allegedly promised to finish before the sale.

BP agreed to sell its Texas City refinery in 2012 for less than it had originally sought. In 2005, 15 workers were killed and hundreds injured at the refinery when a unit used to boost octane in gasoline overflowed as it was being restarted, igniting a blast that shattered windows five miles away.

BP didn’t immediately respond to a call and e-mail seeking comment.

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