Leak Shuts Alaska Pipeline, Oil Prices Jump

Will oil head to $100 barrel again?
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2011 1:41 AM CST
Leak Shuts Alaska Pipeline, Oil Prices Jump
BP workers, in the background, remove insulation from an oil transit pipeline at the Prudhoe Bay oil field on Alaska's North Slope. The Alaska oil pipeline has been shut down because of a leak.   (AP Photo/Al Grillo)

Oil prices jumped this morning just two days after a major leak forced the shutdown of the 800-mile trans-Alaska oil pipeline. North Slope oil flow was reduced by 95% after the leak was discovered at a pump station there, said officials. Though the leak was contained, it's unclear when operations will restart, according to spokesmen. "Such high levels of uncertainty will have traders scrambling," said one analyst. Benchmark oil for delivery next month jumped $1.35 to $89.38 a barrel in early electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. If the pipeline flow doesn't resume quickly, prices could edge close to $100 a barrel, warns the Wall Street Journal.
(Read more $100 a barrel oil stories.)

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