Published: Oct 14, 2010 4:36 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 14, 2010 1:36 PM EDT

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - BP PLC is considering ending an ombudman's office launched to handle whistleblower complaints.

The ombudman's office was created four years ago after major oil spills at Alaska's Prudhoe Bay field, which is operated by BP. The aim was to give U.S. employees of the London-based oil company a new way to report problems.

The ombudsman, retired federal judge Stanley Sporkin, provides confidential access to a person outside BP who can launch third-party investigations.

BP says it may bring the program in-house, perhaps as early as June.

Steve Rinehart, a company spokesman in Alaska, says BP hasn't made any decisions yet.