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BP probation for 2006 oil spill set to expire

Elizabeth Bluemink

Unless federal attorneys make a move within the next few weeks, BP will come off probation for its big 2006 North Slope oil spill in 22 days.

The company pleaded guilty in 2007 to a misdemeanor violation of the federal Clean Water Act for the 212,000-gallon spill from a corroded pipe.

In the plea agreement, BP said that the spill was due to its own negligence, paid a $20 million criminal penalty and agreed to a three-year probation.

A federal judge signed the plea agreement on Nov. 29, 2007. The probation is scheduled to end on Nov. 29 this year.

BP declined to comment on its probation status this week, and the company's probation officer did not return phone calls.

The plea agreement spelled out three achievements BP needed get off probation:

• The company had to make significant progress in replacing its North Slope oil transit lines, which had become aged and corroded.

• BP had to make significant progress on creating and running an integrity management plan for its North Slope infrastructure.

• The company had to make significant progress on a better system for detecting oil spills.

Find Elizabeth Bluemink online at or call 257-4317.