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COPY-Town sitting on potential oil jackpot

Associated Press - November 10, 2008 7:05 AM ET

PARSHALL, N.D. (AP) - The drilling frenzy in North Dakota's oil patch has transformed the town of Parshall.

And it might even get an oil well aimed directly under its streets.

Many of Parshall's 1,000 or so residents believe they may be sitting on a jackpot.

Wichita, Kansas-based Slawson Exploration has begun a well drilling on the outskirts of Parshall, and another is planned that will partially drill beneath the town. Todd Slawson, 1 of the company's owners, says a rig likely will drill directly beneath the town next year.

Roughnecks from Texas and Oklahoma have traveled here on hopes that they now share with the town's 1,000 or so inhabitants - that there is oil in Parshall.

Loren Hoffman is a local farmer and the city auditor. He says it could not have come at a better time. In his words, "We were dying."

Hoffman says residents, businesses, churches, nursing homes, tribes and the city itself already have leased mineral rights. About 400 people own mineral rights beneath the city, and everything has been leased.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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