Owner Of Continental Resources Says Move To OKC Necessary For Growth

Monday, March 28th 2011, 7:25 pm
By: News 9

Kirsten McIntyre, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- He grew up with 12 siblings in a one bedroom house in Oklahoma. He never graduated from college, and his first job was pumping gas, but Harold Hamm is now a self-made billionaire.

Last week, Hamm announced he's relocating his oil and gas company from Enid to downtown Oklahoma City.

It's a history Hamm enjoys-- how the corner of Broadway and Main has evolved throughout the years.

"First structure on this site was May of 1889," Hamm said.

Now more than 120 years later, Hamm is the owner of a $22 million building in downtown Oklahoma City. He secretly bought it last year knowing Devon would be moving out and perhaps Continental could move in.

"It looked like it was the direction we were headed for sure, and so the way we kept it a secret, we put it in a LLC," Hamm said.

Hamm said the decision to move Continental Resources from Enid wasn't an easy one, yet it was necessary for the growth of the company. Right now, Continental is on a growth track to triple in size in the next five years.

"In a smaller community, you don't have the labor pool and it takes a little longer to hire people in," Hamm said.

So, how did the son of sharecroppers become one of Forbes richest men? Hamm said he staked his fortune on oil. The company is now considered a major player in the Bakken Shale in Montana and North Dakota.

"It's tremendous. It's huge. It will more than double the U.S. reserves today," Hamm said.

Hamm said he believes billions of barrels of oil could be pumped from the Bakken Shale. If he's right, the black gold would add more green to his pocket. Not bad for a guy who's first job was pumping gas.

"I am astonished and feel somewhat destined to be here, and it's been a tremendous experience for me. I'm very thankful and grateful to be where I am and also have our company where we're at in this stage right now," Hamm said.

Continental won't move into its new headquarters until the new Devon tower is finished next year.

More: Enid Company Relocating To Oklahoma City