ConocoPhillips Steps Into the GPMI Bankruptcy Fray

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ConocoPhillips Steps Into the GPMI Bankruptcy Fray


NEW YORK -- A new company has entered Getty Petroleum Marketing Inc.'s (GPMI) bankruptcy proceedings, reported Dow Jones & Co.'s DBR Small Cap report.

ConocoPhillips Inc. is attempting to obtain a blocking position in GPMI's Chapter 11 case, currently ongoing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York.

According to the news outlet, ConocoPhillips is seeking to cast a ballot that says GPMI is worth $96.6 million. The claim is based upon GPMI's alleged agreement to indemnify ConocoPhillips for environmental contamination at 77 gas stations.

If ConocoPhillips' claim is allowed to stand, it could have a major effect on GPMI's bankruptcy plan, the news source reported. Creditor attorney Andrew Goldman of Wimer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP told the parent of the Wall Street Journal on Friday that the official committee of unsecured creditors is currently reviewing ConocoPhillips' claims.

It is too early to tell the specifics of how ConocoPhillips' claim would affect GPMI's bankruptcy.

GPMI no longer operates convenience stores and gas stations. As CSNews Online has reported, Getty Realty Corp., revoked its master lease with GPMI following the latter's bankruptcy.

Despite being bankrupt, GPMI still has assets. According to Dow Jones, GPMI is counting on payoffs from lawsuits against former owner Lukoil Holdings. Lukoil has denied any wrongdoing in its dealings with GPMI.

According to ConocoPhillips' bankruptcy court filing, it gave 273 convenience stores and gas stations to GPMI in 2005, along with $53 million in cash. Subsequently, GPMI took the cash and allegedly promised to remediate any environmental damage at the sites, the news outlet reported. A few years later, Lukoil took on responsibility for 196 of the locations, with GPMI handling the rest.

ConocoPhillips' claim is scheduled for review by U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Shelley C. Chapman on July 18.

ConocoPhillips no longer operates convenience stores or gas stations. Its recently spun-off Phillips 66 company licenses the right for gas station owners to use names such as Conoco and 76.