BP, La. companies in pay dispute

Sept. 1, 2010 at 3:24 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Several Louisiana companies supporting the Gulf of Mexico oil spill response say they've not been paid by BP and threaten to stop work until they are.

St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro called on the oil giant to resolve the issues and avoid potential work interruptions in the coming days, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Wednesday.

One company, Amigo Enterprises, said it has not been paid for 60 days for a wide range of services in support of spill response activities, including fuel for boats, basic rent on the land, the use of a crane on the site and upgrades at the site, and has given BP 10 days notice to vacate.

Taffaro said Amigo was owed more than $3 million.

"We're calling on BP to step forward and make these things right," Taffaro said. "We continue to hear commercial after commercial about 'BP is here until everything is cleaned up, BP is here to make everything right.' This is an opportunity to make this right. We stand ready as a parish ... to facilitate whatever has to happen to resolve this."

Two other Louisiana marinas in Delacroix and Shell Beach are also experiencing reimbursement issues with BP, Taffaro said.

A BP spokesman acknowledged that the company had received the notice to vacate.

Payments to Amigo Enterprises and to another company had been delayed, spokesman Tom Mueller said, because many of the invoices sent to BP lacked basic information about the work that was done.

"BP, like most responsible companies, requires certain basic documentation accompany invoices submitted for payment," a company statement said. "This documentation is used to verify that work submitted on an invoice was authorized by the company, and to help verify that the work was actually completed. Many invoices received from St. Bernard Parish work did not include this basic documentation."

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