Alaska to sue BP over pipeline leaks, claiming lost revenue

The state is planning to sue BP over "several hundred million dollars" in oil taxes and royalties lost because of pipeline leaks and shutdowns in the giant Prudhoe Bay field, state lawyers have told lawmakers.

The problems that erupted during 2006 in Prudhoe, the nation's largest oil field, rocked world oil markets and led to intense congressional and legal scrutiny for BP, which runs the North Slope field on behalf of itself and other owner companies.

In November, after BP's Alaska subsidiary pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor environmental crime, a federal judge sentenced the firm to three years probation and ordered it to pay $20 million in criminal penalties for a 201,000-gallon oil spill from a corroded pipeline. The sentencing wrapped up the criminal aspect of the case for both the federal and state governments.

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