Hinsdale BP says gas is fine, Corporate says don’t sell top two grades
Operators of the BP gas station on the northwest corner of Ogden Avenue and York Road say their gas is safe to use, as it comes from Illinois, and not Indiana or Milwaukee where there was a problem with some fuel storage. | Kimberly Fornek—Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 29, 2012 9:36AM
HINSDALE — The manager of the BP gas station on York Road and Ogden Avenue said the gas the station was selling Friday morning was fine.
He said this as he taped paper signs to all the pumps that stated the station was only selling regular grade gas, and not its premium or midgrade gas.
He was posting the signs per instructions from the BP’s corporate office, he said.
On its website, BP states, “As a precaution, the company has temporarily halted distribution and sale of premium and midgrade gasoline in the Chicago area pending further testing.”
Over last weekend, different model vehicles were stalling or not starting. The drivers and their mechanics determined the problems stemmed from gas from some BP stations. Earlier this week, BP announced that a batch of regular grade gasoline blended at BP’s Whiting, Ind., storage terminal between Aug. 13 and 17 contained a higher than normal level of polymeric residue, which caused starting and other driving problems.
By Aug. 22, BP’s website stated about 200 stations in the Chicago area, and 20 stations in the Milwaukee area were supplied with the subpar gas from storage terminals in Whiting and Milwaukee.
The manager of the Hinsdale BP, who preferred to have BP’s corporate office answer questions about the quality of the gas, said his station gets its gas from Rockford and Forest View, Ill. . But last night, someone from the corporate office advised the station not to sell its top two grades, those pumped from the silver and gold handles.
While BP announced Aug. 23 that it had traced the source of the fuel problems to the alkylation unit of the Whiting refinery and adjustments were made to correct the problem, there seemed to be some question about premium and midgrade gas shipped from the Milwaukee terminal.
The website on Aug. 23 stated, “fuel sold from the Milwaukee terminal is also back within normal specifications.” However, “as a precaution,” the sale of premium and midgrade gasoline in the Chicago area was temporarily halted. BP is continuing to check its gas to ensure the quality, the website stated. BP did not return calls for comment.
BP has set up telephone numbers for people who experienced engine problems after buying BP gas: 1-800-333-3991 or 1-800-599-9040. For more information, readers also can look at the website, www.bpresponse.com.
The manager of the Hinsdale station, said, just by coincidence, the state Aug. 23 had tested all the station’s grades of gas and found them fine. The Illinois Department of Agriculture annually tests commercial gasoline pumps to verify the pumps actually release the amount of gasoline for which a customer is charged. The manager said the state on Thursday also confirmed the octane level of each grade was correct.
Several of the people filling their tanks Friday morning at the Hinsdale station had not heard about the problems with some BP gas.
Tom Baer of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio said he has been traveling and has not listened to news broadcasts recently.
“I’m on my way to Midway to catch a flight to Cleveland,” he said, as he put regular gas in the rental car he was driving. “I might have been concerned had I known about it.”
Anastasia Diamantopoulos of Addison had heard reports about some BP fuel, but said she had pulled into the station on the northwest corner of Ogden and York without looking at the name. When she started to fill her tank and realized she was at a BP station, she thought, “Oh my God.”
Hearing that the station operators say their fuel comes Rockford and Forest View, and not Indiana, Diamantopoulos said, “It’s a relief.”