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Man camps in western ND filling up

A crew camp that was operated by Target Lodging near Williston, N.D., may be turned into a hotel complex. Williston Herald file photo

WILLISTON, N.D.—The use of Target Lodging's workforce lodging in the Bakken oil field is on the rise, a company official said.

"We've seen a significant increase in occupancy over the last two quarters. In fact, at several of our lodges we are at or very near full capacity," Troy Schrenk, chief commercial officer for Target Lodging in The Woodlands, Texas, said on Friday, June 8.

The last two quarters refers to the fourth quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, according to Schrenk.

"Overall, the level of activity in the last two quarters has picked up significantly in terms of manpower in the area," Schrenk added. He said companies working in the oil field have added more crews and equipment.

Target Lodging, considered the largest provider in the U.S., was known as Target Logistics until the name was changed recently.

In North Dakota some of Target's workforce lodges were closed down primarily due to projects being completed, Schrenk said.

Today, he said Target Lodging owns and operates five lodges in North Dakota with a total of approximately 1,850 beds.

The five active workforce lodges in North Dakota are:

— Williams County Lodge near Williston.

— Watford City Lodge at Watford City.

— Judson Lodge, west of Williston.

— Stanley Lodge at Stanley.

— Dunn County Lodge, eight miles north of Dickinson.

Bear Paw Lodge in Williston is a Target Lodging facility but is not open, Schrenk said. He said the facility may be converted at some time to a hotel-style/type lodge.

The Tioga Lodge at Tioga also is not operating, according to Schrenk. He said approximately half of the facility was moved to another region.

In southwest North Dakota, plans are being made for Target Lodging to provide housing for the Davis Refinery project at Belfield.

On Monday, Meridian Energy Group Inc., a developer of oil-refining facilities, signed a letter of intent with Target Lodging as the workforce housing provider for the refinery. Meridian will be contracting for workforce housing needs at Target's Dunn County Lodge near Dickinson in support of the workforce that will be constructing and then operating the initial phase of the refinery.

"I think it's looking definitely encouraging for the Williston Basin and Bakken region as a whole," Schrenk said. He said any time companies are adding or creating jobs it bodes well for the local economy as well. "It's not back to full recovery but we're encouraged and optimistic with some of the level of activity seen," he said.

He added that one of the changes in the oil field helping with the increased activity is pipelines have been built and this gives the ability to shippers to get their product to market without price reductions.

Target Lodging also has the Cheecham Lodge south of Fort McMurray in the Canadian Oil Sands in Alberta and a number of lodging facilities in New Mexico and Texas in the Permian Basin.

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