Alaska oil shutdown hikes prices

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CNN) — Oil giant BP has begun shutting down one of America’s largest oilfields, drastically reducing crude supplies and causing a surge in global prices, after a corroded Alaskan pipeline sprang a leak.

The company said it would shut down its Prudhoe Bay operation for an indefinite period after finding “unexpectedly severe corrosion” on one line and a small oil spill.

The shutdown will chop production by 400,000 barrels a day, or eight percent of U.S. domestic production.

US Energy Secretary Sam Bodman said the government would loan oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve if needed.

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