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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Canadian crude oil exports rose 9 percent last year as output from the country's oil sands rose, according to figures released on Monday by the country's energy regulator.
The National Energy Board said that exports of light and heavy oil averaged 2.14 million barrels per day in 2011, up from 1.96 million bpd in 2010.
The gains came primarily in shipments of heavy oil, which is mostly sourced from the oil sands of northern Alberta. Heavy oil exports rose 11 percent to 1.54 million bpd from 1.4 million bpd a year earlier, while light oil shipments rose 5.5 percent to 600,700 bpd.
Canada's oil exports, the vast majority of which are destined for the United States, have been climbing steadily as production from the oil sands, the world's third-largest crude reserve, rises.
Indeed, exports of Canadian crude have increased by more than half since 2001, when exports totaled 1.39 million bpd.
Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Peter Galloway