November 5, 2010
Visiting Oil Developer Springs Breaking News of Far More Oil Potential in North Dakota Than What Was First Predicted
Bismarck, ND - Harold Hamm, founder, president, CEO and chairman of Continental Resources, and regarded as America's richest oilman, recently visited the University of Mary & its Gary Tharaldson School of Business for the first time. Hamm immediately acknowledged how delighted he was with the campus. "I am so impressed with this campus," commented Hamm, as he looked outside to the splendid view of the Missouri River Valley from the Harold Schafer Leadership Center Board Room. "It is one of the prettiest I think I have ever been on. The view is extraordinary! This is fabulous to be here in this pretty spot."
Hamm met with representatives from banking and finance, energy, and other industries; government executives; and other industries University of Mary President Father James Shea; and others to talk about his recent investors' meeting and the promising future of oil in North Dakota.
Hamm says he came to North Dakota to "find really large fields [of oil]. Some elephants if you will. [I] came up here elephant hunting and to find oil." In 2004, once some of the better horizontal drilling technology was developed, Hamm's company established a large lease position (currently 865,000 acres) in North Dakota and then started exploring. As he says, "the rest is history." Hamm says Continental Resources has opened another window to technology development in both oil and gas. He feels his company created a resource base in Montana and North Dakota that is going to be around for a long time.
North Dakota has produced 2 billion barrels of oil over the past 60 years according to the North Dakota Petroleum Council. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 2007 predicted a total of 4.3 billion barrels of oil in this resource base - the largest in the lower 48 states. But Hamm says due to recent technology advances he instructed Continental Resources over the last four months to scope the true size of this resource base that is predominantly in North Dakota and to a much lesser degree in Montana and parts of Canada. Hamm says, given what their data shows, there is the potential for a lot more oil in this field than what was first predicted (play video comments).
Continental Resources drilled the first Bakken well in 1989. Hamm says with a chuckle, "It was dry." He recalls, "But we didn't quite give up. We stayed at it." Hamm says the company plans to triple in size over the next five years.