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BP sues US over contract suspensions

LONDON — BP PLC has filed suit against the US government to overturn the temporary suspension of most BP entities, including its exploration arm, from federal contracts.

The suit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Texas, seeks to overturn the ban, imposed in November by the Environmental Protection Agency. The agency cited BP for “lack of business integrity” as demonstrated by its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster.

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The ban’s most significant impact is preventing BP from gaining new US oil and gas leases. That suspension, for instance, is likely to be hampering BP’s activities in the Gulf of Mexico, where it has been unable to bid on new leases since the ban was imposed.

BP’s output in the Gulf of Mexico, a key profit center, has dropped sharply because of divestments of oil and gas fields there, and the moratorium on drilling that was imposed after the spill and has now been lifted.

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