There are a thousand miles of pipeline crisscrossing Alaska's North Slope. Yesterday, corrosion in just sixteen of them shut down the largest oilfield in the United States indefinitely.
The shutdown has knocked out eight percent of the country's crude oil production, sent gas and oil prices spiking again, and thrown a harsh light on the new vulnerability of energy supplies and flows worldwide.
Rotting pipelines in Alaska are just the start. In Nigeria, unrest has knocked production back. Angry nations from Venezuela to Iran have threatened cutoffs.
Analysts fear civil war in Iraq could mean regional war in the heart of global oil country. And then there's hurricane season.
Hear about dwindling supplies, rotting pipes, threat of war, and the world's unsettling new energy vulnerability.
Wesley Loy, oil and gas reporter for the Anchorage Daily News.;
Amy Jaffe, Energy Expert and Fellow at the Baker Institute, Rice University.;
Gerald Butt, Editor-in-Chief of the Middle East Economic Survey, a top weekly journal covering the oil and gas industry.;
Nigel Gault, Lead U.S. Economist at Global Insight, Inc. an international economic consulting firm.
This program aired on August 8, 2006.