BP Whiting oil refinery leak causes natural gas smell across south suburbs

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, January 25, 2024
BP Whiting oil refinery leak causes natural gas smell in suburbs
A Whiting, Indiana BP oil refinery leak caused a natural gas smell across the south suburbs, including in Oak Forest, IL.

OAK FOREST, Ill. (WLS) -- Some south suburban residents reported a natural gas smell Wednesday, resulting from a leak at a northwest Indiana oil refinery last week, BP said.

BP said Wednesday that its Whiting refinery had a leak from a storage tank on the afternoon of Jan. 18.

As of early Jan. 19, the leak was stopped and contained within the tank confinement area, BP said.

Crews then began cleanup efforts.

"We are aware that some in the surrounding communities may be experiencing odors while cleanup work at the tank confinement area is taking place. Operation crews are working around the clock to rapidly clean up the impacted area and are undertaking additional measures to try to mitigate the odors as they continue cleanup efforts," BP said. "The safety of our response crews and the surrounding communities will remain our highest priority as we complete this work in coming days."

Air monitoring equipment is in place, and contaminated soil and gravel is being removed. No chemicals went into Lake Michigan, BP said.

Oak Forest police said just before 9 a.m. that they have been and continue to receive calls about an odor.

Tinley Park officials were also receiving reports of the smell.

Nicor and BP said there is no danger to the community.

Nicor also said the natural gas odor is traveling west.

If residents suspect a natural gas leak, they should call 888.Nicor.4U.

For more information on how to detect natural gas leaks, visit nicorgas.com/safety.

Earlier this month, a natural gas smell was making its way through the north and west suburbs. Officials said equipment work in Iowa was causing that disturbance.

BP said the refinery has continued to operate normally throughout the incident.

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