Daily U.S. crude oil exports to Canada rose from 32,000 barrels in December 2010 to 350,000 barrels in June this year amid the rising output of light, sweet crude from shale plays, according to a Turner, Mason and Co. report. "This growth has been an important 'relief valve' for U.S. producers as the ability of domestic refiners to absorb more light barrels approaches its limits, and exports to other countries are restricted," the report said.

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