Oil Prices Rally on Pipeline Explosion News of an explosion and fire overnight at a major pipeline in northern Minnesota prompts a rise in oil prices, reversing two days of sharp declines from record highs. The price of oil had been flirting with the $100 mark. The fire is out now.

Oil Prices Rally on Pipeline Explosion

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

After falling sharply for a couple of days, oil prices reversed course and shut up over night. That's on news of an explosion and fire on a major pipeline in northern Minnesota. Fire's out now, but it's a reminder of just how quickly supplies can be disrupted.

Mark Zdechlik of Minnesota Public Radio has more.

MARK ZDECHLIK: A spokesman for Toronto-based Enbridge Energy says repairs were being made on the pipeline that carries crude oil from Saskatchewan to the Chicago area when fumes apparently escaped, igniting the fire. Two people working on the pipeline were killed. The fire burned itself out this morning, but thick black smoke forced the evacuation of nearby residents.

Clearbrook, Minnesota Mayor Mike Gibeau says he expects to meet with pipeline company officials today.

Mayor MIKE GIBEAU (Clearbrook, Minnesota): Everybody was kind of shock yesterday, but I think everybody realizes, you know, things like this can happen. And I know Enbridge has been great. They will be here. I know they have been calling in at the (unintelligible) motel in town, getting rooms, so they'll be here today. And I know they'll take care of everything.

ZDECHLIK: Enbridge Energy says crews are putting foam on the remaining oils so it does not reignite. The pipeline that leaked and three others were shut down. Enbridge says two of the lines were restarted this morning. Another will be inspected and brought back into service if it's safe. However, Enbridge says the line that caught fire will likely be out for sometime.

For NPR News, I'm Mark Zdechlik in St. Paul.

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