Harsh winter curbs U.S. crude oil production

March 12, 2014 at 8:54 AM

WASHINGTON, March 12 (UPI) -- A harsh winter season curbed U.S. crude oil production, though future activity should make up for the loss, EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said.

The Energy Information Administration said in its short-term energy outlook severe winter weather cut into production in Northern Plains states like Montana and North Dakota, hosts to the Bakken reserve areas.

Output from Bakken hit the 1 million barrels per day mark in November, but averaged 900,000 bpd because of late-season storms.

"Bad weather conditions cut into U.S. crude oil production this winter, but much of the production slowdown will be made up over the next few months by accelerated well completions," Sieminski said in a statement Tuesday. "Crude oil production in the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana fell in December, but is expected to rebound to 1 million barrels per day this month."

EIA expects strong growth from the Bakken shale deposit, along with more output from the Eagle Ford and Permian shale areas in the southern United States.

The administration, the statistical arm of the U.S. Energy Department, said a generally healthy level of production was cutting into petroleum imports.

"The share of total U.S. liquid fuels consumption met by net imports peaked at more than 60 percent in 2005 and fell to an average of 33 percent in 2013," its report said. "EIA expects the net import share to decline to 25 percent in 2015, which would be the lowest level since 1971."

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