ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Oil company BP scrambled Monday to assess suspected pipeline corrosion that will shut shipments from the nation's biggest oilfield, removing about 8 percent of daily U.S. crude production and driving oil prices sharply higher.
BP, which is already facing a criminal investigation over a large spill in March at the same Prudhoe Bay oilfield, said it did not know how long the field would be offline. "I don't even know how long it's going to take to shut it down," said Tom Williams, BP's senior tax and royalty counsel.
That's a significant chunk of domestic production. According to an expert quoted in the article current stores of crude oil are high, but Americans have an insatiable appetite for petroleum products for not just fuel, but plastics and everything else that uses oil as the raw material. A prolonged shutdown will cause prices on everything to go up.