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Oil prices rise on news of pipeline closure in Alaska...

BP shuts giant Alaska oil field on pipe damage

Mon Aug 7, 2006 3:54pm ET
By Yereth Rosen and Robert Campbell

ANCHORAGE/NEW YORK, Aug 7 (Reuters) - BP Plc (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) is shutting down its giant Alaska Prudhoe Bay oil field due to a damaged pipeline and fears of wider corrosion, slashing West Coast supplies and prompting the U.S. government to consider releasing emergency stockpiles as prices jump.

International oil major BP on Sunday began turning off the taps after discovering a spill at the nation's largest field, which pumps 400,000 barrels per day of crude, or 8 percent of domestic output, and said it could be weeks or months before production resumes.

"BP deeply regrets that it's been necessary for us to take this drastic action to have an orderly and planned shutdown of the Prudhoe Bay oil field. On behalf of the BP Group, I apologize for the impact this has had on our nation and to the great state of Alaska," newly appointed BP America Chief Executive Bob Malone said at an Anchorage news conference.