Oil prices rose by $2 this morning to almost $90 a barrel following the shutdown of an Alaskan pipeline, which carries 12% of US crude output, due to a leak.

Crude for February rose $1.32 to stand at $89.35 a barrel by 04.30 GMT and Brent crude rose 83¢ to $94.16, reports Reuters.

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline was shut down on 8 January 2011 after a leak at the start of the pipeline in Prudhoe Bay forced oil firms to cut output to 5% of their daily average of 630,000 barrels.

Barclays Capital, Singapore associate vice-president Chen Xin Yi said that the long-term implication of such leaks would be mounting public scrutiny about regulations for the maintenance of the oil production and distribution infrastructure.

Data before the weekend showed that US non-farm payrolls rose by 103,000 against forecasts of 175,000.

But the jobless rate fell to 9.4% from 9.8% in November 2010, its lowest in more than 18 months.