Alaska pipeline spill rallies forecasters, speculators

| 1/11/2011

Oil forecasters are predicting a drop in U.S. crude supply following the shutdown of a broken pipeline in Alaska on Saturday, Jan. 8. By Monday and Tuesday, oil market speculators were getting into the game, driving prices over $90 per barrel.

According to oil forecasters at Bloomberg, oil futures rose 1.4 percent on Monday, Jan. 10, and another 1.2 percent on Tuesday following the news of the Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. shutdown over the weekend.

A pipeline spokeswoman told Bloomberg that the leak occurred in a section encased in concrete and that cold temperatures in Alaska are making repairs difficult.

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System is responsible for 15 percent of U.S. oil output.

In other energy news, the price of on-highway diesel remained just under $3.35 per gallon for the second consecutive day according to ProMiles.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported the weekly on-highway diesel average at $3.333 per gallon for the week ending Monday, Jan. 10, virtually unchanged from the week before.

On a year-by-year comparison, the average price of diesel is currently 45.4 cents per gallon more than it was in January 2010.