Oil production from seven major U.S. shale plays is forecast to climb by 80,000 barrels a day to 4.873 million barrels a day in March from February, according to a monthly report from the Energy Information Administration released Monday. Oil output from the Permian Basin, which covers parts of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico, is expected to see the largest climb among the big shale plays. It's expected to rise by 70,000 barrels a day. Output from the Bakken, which covers parts of Montana and North Dakota as well as parts of Canada, however, is expected to fall by 18,000 barrels a day. Just minutes ahead of the day's settlement, oil prices continued their declines. March West Texas Intermediate oil traded at $52.88 a barrel, down 98 cents, or 1.8%, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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