Oil leaks have been a major problem at several major U.S. oil refineries and terminals.
At BP, the company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that its $2.5 billion power steering repair project in the Gulf Coast would cost about $400 million.
And the cost of a $500,000 repair to an oil leak in a refinery in Virginia has been cited by other oil and gas companies, including the San Francisco Bay Area refinery, which is being run by Dominion Resources.
The costs of the repairs to both refineries are expected to be about $5 million, Dominion said.
The problems have put pressure on the industry, with the federal government ordering major refineries to start making repairs to their oil spill response systems.
Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order that required refineries in Texas, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi to get new air pollution detection equipment and start replacing air quality monitors.
It said the new equipment will be required for more than two years.
The FAA also said it will order a number of other facilities to begin installing air quality monitoring equipment.
“It’s going to be a tough road ahead,” said Mark Osterloh, a professor of industrial engineering at Ohio State University who studies the oil and natural gas industry.
He added that the costs of repairing oil leaks will likely be higher than repairs to other oil infrastructure.
“There’s going a long way to go before these systems are up to scratch,” Osterpohl said.
Osterrohl said the oil industry was in a position of weakness and needed to find a way to survive.
“I don’t think it’s an accident that there are problems with oil refiners, but the oil refines are so badly understaffed, they are understaffing their maintenance staff, and that’s going on right now,” Oesterloh said.
“What is it going to take to keep this going?
What are they going to do to make things better?”
Osterwohl said if oil companies do not get the equipment, the industry could fall into a situation similar to that of California, where a number have been shut down and others have shut down due to the shortage of workers.
“This industry is in a really bad place,” he said.
And for the companies that have hired workers to deal with the problem, there is not a lot of incentive to keep working, said Chris Dickey, a vice president at the American Petroleum Institute.
“We’ve had the largest oil spill in American history, we’ve had to deal at the highest levels with the worst environmental problems we’ve ever had, and we’re at a crossroads,” he told ABC News.
“And it’s hard to make good decisions.
And it’s a tough decision.”
A spokeswoman for Dominion said in an email that the company was “making every effort to get the air quality systems in place to meet the needs of the refinery.”
“We are committed to making sure that we are fully prepared to meet any and all requirements to continue the repair and repair operations as soon as possible,” the company wrote.
The Federal Aviation Authority also said that it would be imposing new safety standards on oil and gasoline refineries.
The agency is also requiring that refineries make improvements to the air pollution monitoring equipment that would include more sophisticated sensors, greater capacity to detect the pollution and better software to allow refineries better control over the emissions.
The latest regulatory requirements are designed to give refineries more time to address the problem.
It also gives refineries a deadline of Dec. 31 to complete the repairs.