Oil prices surge after freeze-induced output disruptions

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NEW YORK, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices jumped on Monday as U.S. crude output is expected to return slowly after a deep freeze caused massive production outages in Texas.

The West Texas Intermediate for March delivery added 2.25 U.S. dollars to settle at 61.49 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for April delivery increased 2.33 dollars to close at 65.24 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

"The oil facilities in Texas that had been shut down due to the cold weather are gradually resuming production," Carsten Fritsch, energy analyst at Commerzbank Research, said in a note on Monday.

"It is likely to take some time for it to regain its normal level, however. The same applies to refineries," he said.

Up to 40 percent of U.S. oil production was shut for some of the time last week due to the extreme cold, according to reports.

For the week ending Friday, the U.S. crude benchmark declined 0.4 percent, while Brent eked out a gain of 0.8 percent, based on the most-actively traded contracts. Enditem

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