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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: American shareholders are suing the British oil giant BP over the partial shutdown of its Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska. The lawsuit accuses BP executives of negligence. From London, Stephen Beard reports.

STEPHEN BEARD: The group of US shareholders accuses BP's senior management of poor maintenance.

They claim that executives allowed one of the company's prized assets, the Prudhoe Bay Oil field, to decay. That they were well aware of corrosion in a pipeline but did nothing until it leaked.

BP then closed down production in half the oil field, . Replacing the corroded pipes will cost the company up to $200 million.

The shareholders lawsuit is yet another blow, says Justin Urquart Stewart of Seven Investment.

JUSTIN URQUART STEWART: This is bad news on top of further bad news and I suspect for BP this isn't going to go away. I suspect there will be other lawsuits, particularly relating to environmental issues.

The company is already under investigation following a huge oil leak in the same field earlier this year. A spokesperson at BP's London headquarters refused to comment on the lawsuit.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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