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BP shuts down largest U.S. oil field.

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Old 08-07-2006, 08:07 AM
Chuck Chuck is offline
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BP shuts down largest U.S. oil field.

Indefinite closure removes 8 percent of U.S. production, raises price fears.

MSNBC staff - August 7, 2006


Two caribou near the Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - In what could be another blow to consumers already hard hit by high energy costs, petroleum giant BP PLC said Monday its Prudhoe Bay facilities in Alaska will be shut down for weeks or months due to damage that will require it to replace 73 percent of a pipeline from the field.

The shutdown, which drove oil and gasoline prices sharply higher on energy markets, removes about 8 percent of daily U.S. crude production.

Light, sweet crude oil rose $1.59 to $76.35 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while gasoline prices rose more than 4 cents to $2.2725 a gallon.

BP, the world’s second-largest oil company, began shutting down the pipelines on Monday and said it would replace 16 miles of the 22 miles of transit pipeline in the Prudhoe Bay field following a leak discovered Sunday.

Company officials told a news conference they did not immediately know how much it would cost to replace the lines. They will continue to keep the oil field closed and bring parts back into service once it’s safe to do so.

Because of the disruption of supplies, the Energy Department is prepared to provide oil from the government’s emergency supplies if a refinery requests it. Spokesman Craig Stevens said the department will be in contact with BP and West Coast refiners later Monday to assess the situation.

“If there is a request for oil we’ll certainly take a serious look at that,” he said.

Steve Marshall, president of BP Exploration Alaska Inc., said Sunday night that the eastern side of the Prudhoe Bay oil field would be shut down first, an operation anticipated to take 24 to 36 hours. The company will then move to shut down the west side, a move that could close more than 1,000 Prudhoe Bay wells.

Possible major impact on oil prices
Once the field is shut down, BP said oil production will be reduced by 400,000 barrels a day. That’s close to 8 percent of U.S. oil production or about 2.6 percent of U.S. supply including imports, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

BP said Sunday workers found a small spill of about 4 to 5 barrels, which has been contained and is being cleaned up.

The shutdown comes at an already worrisome time for the oil industry, with supply concerns stemming both from the hurricane season and instability in the Middle East.

A 400,000-barrel per day reduction in output would have a major impact on oil prices, said Tetsu Emori, chief commodities strategist at Mitsui Bussan Futures in Tokyo. A barrel contains 42 gallons of crude oil.

“Oil prices could increase by as much as $10 per barrel given the current environment,” Emori said. “But we can’t really say for sure how big an effect this is going to have until we have more exact figures about how much production is going to be reduced.”

But Victor Shum, an energy analyst with Purvin & Gertz in Singapore, said he expected the impact to be minimal since crude inventories are high.
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:25 AM
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Re: 8% of US Production Offline With Prudhoe Bay Shutdown

Everybody panic.
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:53 AM
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Re: 8% of US Production Offline With Prudhoe Bay Shutdown

ANWR drilling proponents are not happy today.
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:02 AM
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Re: 8% of US Production Offline With Prudhoe Bay Shutdown

This will help them sell the gulf drilling platform legislation. Basicly they always win. A problem in the gulf helps them get support for ANWR, Problems in alaska helps them get support for more gulf drilling.

It is all a big game. They never lose.
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:05 AM
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Re: 8% of US Production Offline With Prudhoe Bay Shutdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta Flyer
ANWR drilling proponents are not happy today.
It's that or they're thrilled. I'm pretty sure that Prudhoe Bay is a separate issue from ANWR. If you spin this the right way, you basically use it to prove that we don't have enough capacity in the US and need to have other sources available to us. It would be an especially effective message if this pans out and somehow drives fuel prices up even farther into the $3 realm.

Now, us fools would say the opposite and point out that other souces of energy should be developed, not oil. And then there's that energy conservation thingy that we keep hearing about. But what do I know?
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:44 AM
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Re: 8% of US Production Offline With Prudhoe Bay Shutdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbaleno
This will help them sell the gulf drilling platform legislation. Basicly they always win. A problem in the gulf helps them get support for ANWR, Problems in alaska helps them get support for more gulf drilling.

It is all a big game. They never lose.
I would question BP's ability to operate and maintain their facilities. Between this latest episode and the fire/explosion at a BP Texas refinery last year, their track record doesn't look so good.
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:51 AM
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Re: 8% of US Production Offline With Prudhoe Bay Shutdown

BP is not looking all that clean these days....
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:57 AM
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Re: 8% of US Production Offline With Prudhoe Bay Shutdown

Maybe they are diverting maintenance funds into their other research projects. Maybe this is a good thing
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Re: BP shuts down largest U.S. oil field.

On a related note, the expected 3-5 cent hike will set record pump prices, but these days, it seems like much of the population will tolerate $4 a gallon gas.
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:52 PM
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Re: BP shuts down largest U.S. oil field.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta Flyer
On a related note, the expected 3-5 cent hike will set record pump prices, but these days, it seems like much of the population will tolerate $4 a gallon gas.
This latest spike in prices has the local TV station out interviewing gas price whiners (again).

[rant mode on]I'm sooooo sick and tired of all the complaining from people who do absolutely nothing about their problems other than whine about them. "BoHoo, my credit cards debt was already too high and now because of the price of gas I need pre-bankruptcy credit counseling." Says the woman driving the Escalade. BARF! I'd love to be a bankruptcy judge. If someone has real problems fine lets help em out with their debt. If someone's biggest problem is that they over spent on luxury items......Oh man look out! Can you say auction? People should lose as many of their fancy things as it takes to pay debts they rang up. If that means they lose the SUV and the house so be it! Let em have a nice mobile home (perhaps shared with another family?) and a bicycle!!![rant off]
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