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SPOTLIGHT

1. OIL:

U.S. crude exports present a new policy dilemma

The recent surge in U.S. exports of gasoline and other fuels following the boom in tight oil production appears to have helped consumers by making refinery operations more efficient, the head of the Energy Information Administration told a conference yesterday.

2. OIL:

Is a bear market just around the corner?

HOUSTON -- Is the current oil boom about to go bust? Most in the oil and gas industry doubt it, and they've expressed this not only in conversation. Long-term investments -- including huge stakes in onshore shale oil fields, major pipeline builds, and offshore exploration in the Arctic -- all point to an industry that's confident crude oil prices will stay high enough to make even relatively expensive unconventional extraction highly profitable for quite some time, keeping the current industry revival in the United States alive and well. But economists and academics are beginning to issue a warning that the industry hasn't heard in quite a while: An oil bear market is just around the corner.

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