BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota's oil producers are shipping more crude by rail to take advantage of better prices at markets not served by pipelines.

Much of the state's oil goes by pipeline to Cushing, Okla. But the price there is typically about $10 less per barrel than the benchmark prices set on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

That's why some North Dakota producers are skipping the pipeline and sending oil in rail tankers to a terminal in St. James, La. The price there has been about $20 more per barrel than they would get in Cushing.

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Billionaire oilman Harold Hamm of Continental Resources says it costs a few more dollars per barrel to send crude by rail to St. James, but the higher price more than makes up for it.

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