Bulk Petroleum Files for Chapter 11 Protection

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Bulk Petroleum Files for Chapter 11 Protection

MEQUON, Wis. -- Bulk Petroleum Corp., which supplies gasoline to more than 200 gas stations throughout the country, filed to reorganize its finances under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

The company, which is owned by Darshan Dhaliwal, estimated it has both assets and liabilities ranging from $50 million to $100 million, according to its filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. A more detailed accounting of the company's finances will be filed with the court by mid-March, said Michael Dunn, one of Bulk Petroleum's attorneys.

According to the report, the company's largest unsecured creditors include oil companies Citgo, which is owed $4.96 million, and Marathon Ashland LLC, which is owed $3.46 million, the filing said.

Several real estate holding companies affiliated with Bulk Petroleum also filed for Chapter 11 protection. Those companies own gas stations in Wisconsin, Illinois and other states, which are then leased to individual operators, Dunn said. Bulk Petroleum guaranteed the debts of those companies, Dunn said.

Last year's record-setting spike in oil prices hurt Bulk Petroleum, Dunn said, by making it more expensive for the company to buy gasoline. Some, but not all, of those higher prices could be passed on to the gas station operators supplied by Bulk Petroleum, he said, according to the report.

The collapse in oil prices that started last fall has brought some relief to Bulk Petroleum, but not enough to prevent the Chapter 11 filing, Dunn said.

The Journal-Sentinel described Dhaliwal as well-known is political circles as a major contributor to both Republican and Democratic politicians. He also has been a large donor to area colleges, including a 2006 pledge of $4.5 million to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside to expand its communication arts building.