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WATFORD CITY, ND—Thousands of oil and gas workers recently poured into this arid region in western North Dakota and quickly overwhelmed the housing stock of its small towns and cities. And MondayOne, a California-based developer, just became the latest firm to scout the area and see an opportunity. They will begin constructing the 105-unit Pheasant Ridge town home community here in late summer with the first move-ins expected by the end of the year. But unlike many projects targeting the newly-arrived oil workers, these new homes will feature three-bedrooms, and MondayOne officials hope they will attract families and form the building blocks of a new community.

Geologists tout this region, known as the Bakken, as the next Saudi Arabia. The United States Geological Survey estimated on April 30 that the region had 7.4 billion barrels of oil recoverable through hydraulic fracturing of the underground shale formations, a 27-year supply at the current rate of production, and about double what the agency estimated in 2008. Four thousand wells have already been drilled and as the hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” technology improves, the amount of recoverable oil will increase even more.  

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