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Oil regulator expects ND 'discounts' to abate

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota's top oil regulator says he's expecting "discounts" on the state's crude to ease as some pipeline projects are finished.

Lynn Helms says North Dakota crude oil also could be in demand to make jet fuel for Delta Air Lines Inc.

North Dakota oil producers are paid less for their crude because shipping is more expensive.

But Helms says pipeline changes will make the difference smaller. He says they'll make it easier for North Dakota crude oil to flow to refineries in Texas and the Gulf Coast.

Delta is also starting up a refinery in Pennsylvania to make jet fuel. The airline is exploring getting North Dakota crude, because it's cheaper than oil from Britain's North Sea.

Helms says North Dakota oil could be shipped to Pennsylvania by rail.