Industry Recognizes Continental Resources Founder Harold Hamm with Prestigious Wildcatter of the Year Award

September 12, 2015

DENVER - Tonight, Western Energy Alliance was joined by North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple and prominent oil and natural gas industry leaders to honor Harold G. Hamm as the 2015 Wildcatter of the Year. Before a crowd of 500, Hamm was commended for his enduring leadership as head of Continental Resources for 48 years and his generous contributions to charity and community.

Since 1967, Hamm has served as chief executive officer and a director at Continental, and is currently chairman of the board of directors. Growing up in rural Oklahoma, Hamm was the last of 13 children born to sharecroppers. He went to work in the oil fields as a teenager and established Continental at the age of 21. Under his leadership, ­­­­­­the company has grown from a startup into an NYSE-traded, Top 10 American independent oil producer. Today, Continental is the largest leaseholder and one of the largest producers in the nation’s premier oil field, the Bakken play of North Dakota and Montana. The company also has significant positions in Oklahoma.

In addition to his role at Continental, Hamm co-founded and serves as chairman of the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance. He is a past member of the board of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, past chairman and presently a member of the board of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, and founding board member of the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board. He was President of the National Stripper Well Association and Founder and Chairman of Save Domestic Oil Inc., which successfully brought a trade case against four countries trying to put American oil and gas producers out of business.

Equally impressive is Hamm’s leadership in promoting health and education. With the goal of finding a cure for diabetes, he has donated more than $30 million to establish the world-renowned Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. The Center is at the forefront of diabetes research, inspiring progress toward a cure, educating health care professionals, caring for those living with diabetes and implementing effective prevention strategies. He established the Harold Hamm International Prize for Biomedical Research in Diabetes, a $250,000 biennial award celebrating the scientific achievements of outstanding researchers.

“Harold’s rise to success is uniquely American, from his first truck hauling water to the oil field to making the Bakken a household name,” said Tim Wigley, president of Western Energy Alliance. “Peers and competitors agree, he formed and has led a company that’s been a model for success over several decades, through both economic booms and difficult downturns. His tremendous impact on our industry and record of service to the community combined with his personal integrity and no-nonsense approach makes him an ideal and deserving recipient of the Wildcatter of the Year award.”

About the Wildcatter of the Year Award

The title Wildcatter of the Year is reserved only for the most prominent leaders in the western oil and natural gas industry whose entrepreneurial spirit and exploratory work in new fields have contributed significantly to America’s energy security and the betterment of society.  The term “wildcatter” originates from the 1880s when independent speculators ranged across the West in hopes of discovering new or unproven oil reserves. The Wildcatter of the Year is not only a leader in industry, but a role model in the community as well, demonstrating leadership both on and off the oil field. 

Nominations for Wildcatter of the Year are based on the unique contributions and accomplishments of an industry individual, particularly in successful longtime oil and natural gas exploration and production in the West; community service; and support of oil and natural gas industry activities and organizations.

The announcement was made tonight during Western Energy Alliance’s annual Wildcatter of the Year Gala held at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center in Denver, Colo.  A “who’s who” of independent oil and natural gas producers in the West, 500 industry and community leaders attended the gala to join in congratulating Harold Hamm on this lifetime achievement recognition.

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