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In a sudden blow to the nation's oil supply, half the production on Alaska's North Slope was being shut down Sunday after BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. discovered severe corrosion in a Prudhoe Bay oil transit line.
BP officials said they didn't know how long the Prudhoe Bay field would be off line. "I don't even know how long it's going to take to shut it down," said Tom Williams, BP's senior tax and royalty counsel.