Insecurity in the pipeline

Gas pumps
Gas prices in the Twin Cities hit a new high this week. The shutdown of an oil pipeline in Alaska might push those prices even higher.
MPR Photo/Melanie Sommer

Half of the oil production on Alaska's North Shore has come to a halt. Oil giant BP was forced to shut down its Prudhoe Bay operation after discovering its pipeline was corroded and leaking.

Energy officials says the necessary repairs will likely take months to complete, curtailing Alaskan oil production into next year. Until then, the world market will have to go without oil from that area.

The BP operation produced about 400,000 barrels of oil daily. Akshay Rao, General Mills Professor of Marketing at the Carlson School of Management, says that amount of oil is just a drop in the bucket compared to the amount the country uses each day. But, he says that doesn't mean this situation should be taken lightly.

Rao spoke with MPR's Nikki Tundel.

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