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U.S. winter hurting energy sector, EIA says

Feb. 27, 2014 at 6:46 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. Energy Information Administration said the harsh 2014 winter season is expected to have a negative impact on the energy sector in the coming weeks.

EIA said in a weekly petroleum report the sustained cold gripping much of the eastern half of the country disrupted everything from crude oil refinery to pipeline operations.

For production, EIA said the extreme cold in North Dakota, one of the top oil producing states, was to blame for a production drop of 53,000 barrels of oil per day in December, the largest monthly decline ever reported for the state.

Power outages associated with winter storms also forced some refineries in the U.S. Midwest to shut down briefly.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports a cold snap is expected to continue through the end of February and into early March.

"As a result, the possibility remains that cold temperatures could continue to negatively affect petroleum markets in the coming weeks," EIA said Wednesday.

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