BP seeks to appeal Kansas town's lawsuit over gas price hike


February 27, 2022

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Energy giant BP is seeking to appeal a decision that allowed a small Kansas town's lawsuit over soaring natural gas prices in February 2021 to proceed.

BP, formerly known as British Petroleum, filed two documents last week that indicate it wants to shut down a lawsuit filed by the small Crawford County town of Mulberry, The Wichita Eagle reported.

One document seeks permission to appeal a Feb. 8 ruling by Chief District Judge Lori A. Bolton Fleming before the case goes to trial.

In that ruling, Fleming removed the Mulberry city government from the lawsuit but allowed individual residents to proceed with the action, which claims BP's price hikes during a deep freeze in February 2021 were price-gouging.

The second court document outlines BP's belief that it cannot by sued by the residents because they don't buy their gas directly from BP.

The lawsuit is seen as a potential test case to determine if other Kansans will have to pay millions of dollars in extra natural gas costs from the 2021 freeze.

Mulberry's gas cost on Feb. 9, 2021, was $2.98 per million British Thermal Units. The price rose to $329.60 per million BTU from Feb. 13 to Feb. 16, when the city stopped buying gas. On Feb. 17, the price hit $622.79.


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