Arcadis Is in Talks to Help BP Clean Up Spill as Oil Slick Hits Louisiana

Arcadis NV, the Dutch engineering company that helped improve New Orleans levees after Hurricane Katrina, is in talks with BP Plc to help clean the oil slick that reached islands off Louisiana yesterday.

“When the pollution hits the coast, we can offer our assistance,” Chief Executive Officer Harrie Noy said in an interview today. Arcadis “got in touch with our contact at BP,” Noy said, right after the accident on April 20, when an explosion on a rig off the Louisiana shore caused oil leaks. The talks may lead to an order, Noy said.

Arcadis, which already oversees the clean-up of contaminated sites for Atlantic Richfield Co., a BP-owned oil and gas company based in Los Angeles, has offered BP its management expertise on preventing damage to a 3 million-acre wetlands area. For the past four years, Arcadis has been engaged in flood-protection work in Louisiana, monitoring flood barriers and studying the construction of floodgates.

“We have a lot of data available on this coastal area, which we think is also relevant in this case,” Noy said. Arcadis received at least $100 million worth of orders from BP last year, according to Noy.

Arcadis, based in Arnhem, the Netherlands, slumped 6.6 percent to 14.80 euros in Amsterdam at 2 p.m., after reporting first-quarter net income that fell short of analyst estimates.

The oil slick from the BP accident reached the southeastern Chandeleur Islands of Louisiana yesterday, according to Coast Guard reports. Oil has been gushing at an estimated rate of 5,000 barrels a day from the well, roughly 40 miles (64 kilometers) off the southeastern tip of Louisiana. BP said a four-story steel box designed to collect crude leaking from the damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico has arrived on location and is ready to be deployed.

Sheila Williams, a spokeswoman for BP, said the company is using a “multi-industry approach” to the cleanup and said she can’t confirm which companies are involved.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeroen Molenaar in Amsterdam

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