Energy companies with operations in the Bakken shale include EOG Resources ( EOG), Continental Resources ( CLR) and Whiting Petroleum ( WLL). Investors Real Estate has significant existing real estate assets in its home market of North Dakota and is committing additional resources to the development of multi-family residential and commercial real estate in North Dakota in response to unprecedented demand for office and residential space resulting from the development of the Bakken shale formation. One must understand that the company's ability to maintain or increase physical occupancy levels and rental revenue at its commercial and multi-family residential properties in North Dakota will be significantly affected by the level of drilling and production by third parties in the Bakken shale formation, which has thus far been strong. The bottom line is that Investors Real Estate Trust is a diversified Midwestern REIT with a strong operating history that has been positioning itself to benefit from increased Bakken shale production. Investors Real Estate currently yields 6.3% on the common stock and has a 7.95% Series B preferred with a current yield of 7.6%. This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.