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    Supermarkets Advised to Brace for Higher Gas, Energy Prices Following Alaskan Oil Field Shutdown

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska and ST. LOUIS -- Supermarkets should expect to see higher gas prices and an increase in other energy-related pricing following yesterday's shutdown of a major Alaska oilfield operated by BP, an industry watcher told Progressive Grocer yesterday.

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska and ST. LOUIS -- Supermarkets should expect to see higher gas prices and an increase in other energy-related pricing following yesterday's shutdown of a major Alaska oilfield operated by BP, an industry watcher told Progressive Grocer yesterday.

    Corrosion and a pipeline leak forced BP to indefinitely shut down the oilfield yesterday.

    "This will definitely have an effect on gasoline prices, no doubt about it," said Chris Albrecht, director of energy procurement for strategic accounts at Cadence Network, a St. Louis-based utility, lease, and expense management firm. "Analysts are expecting the price of gasoline to go up above the all-time record."

    But what some grocers may not be as conscious of is the aftermath on other energy-related pricing, said Albrecht, who advises supermarket companies. "This can dramatically affect the price of natural gas, for instance. If grocers are looking to buy natural gas or electricity, they might not want to lock down their contracts tomorrow," he advised.

    "It all boils down to making smart decisions and knowing what the market is doing. None of us have a crystal ball," added Albrecht.

    Analysts said yesterday that oil could go up by $10 a barrel. BP officials said oil production would be cut by 400,000 barrels a day.

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