Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE-CLR) announced December 11, 2019 that effective January 1, 2020, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Harold Hamm will step up to the role of Executive Chairman. William Berry has been appointed Chief Executive Officer and President Jack Stark will assume the additional role of Chief Operating Officer.
“Bill gives us an extraordinary opportunity to expand our leadership. He brings a notable resume and track record of success second to none,” said Mr. Hamm, Founder, CEO and majority shareholder. “Like me, his DNA is oil and gas exploration and production. What makes Bill special is his ability to identify and nurture talent. Plus, his extensive global energy market experience will serve the Company well. He’s deeply rooted in our culture and leadership at Continental, having served on our board for the past five years. He has been my personal confidant and is a trusted advisor that has helped guide our executive team.”
“It’s a great honor to step into a leadership role at Continental. Harold and his team have built one of the greatest energy companies in America,” stated Mr. Berry. “I know firsthand the people at Continental are among the most talented, motivated, and innovative in the industry. We are perfectly positioned for the future because of Continental’s ability to produce highly sustainable, low-cost, light sweet oil and natural gas,” he continued. “This is a high performance, high ambition company. I look forward to partnering with Harold, and working with Jack and the entire Continental team on the next chapter of this remarkable Company’s future.”
Mr. Stark, President, had this to say, “Bill is the perfect fit for Continental. He enthusiastically embraces our culture and the way we conduct our business. I am right where I want to be and Bill has the full support of myself and the entire leadership team as we continue to grow our great Company.”
Hamm added, “As for me, I’m not going anywhere. I’m an oil finder and geologist at heart. Working together, Bill and I will help the Company cultivate new strategic opportunities. This is the right time to bring him on board: Continental has never been stronger, and we are enjoying record production coupled with strong free cash flow. As most everyone knows, I have a long history of buying, not selling our stock and that will not change. We are living in the new oil era, driven by the American Energy Renaissance. The result is a stronger economy, a stronger energy independent America, and a safer world. With Bill, Jack and our extraordinary team, we will define that new era going forward. Continental is a company with a very bright future. Our Company is built to last.”
Bill Berry has spent over four decades in the oil and gas business, serving in a variety of roles, including as an executive with ConocoPhillips where he was responsible for global operations managing over 10,000 employees and over $12 billion in capital expenditures. He has served on the Continental Board of Directors in a variety of roles since 2014. Bill holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in petroleum engineering from Mississippi State University.
Harold Hamm started Continental 52 years ago. In the decades that followed, no one has been a stronger advocate for the American independent oil and gas producers, nor a greater champion of what affordable, sustainable energy means to every citizen and business in the U.S. He is credited with leading the effort to end the export ban in 2015, which has resulted in huge economic and environmental benefits to the United States and our allies that will last for decades to come. His leadership and vision have inspired generations of people who are as passionate about the business as he is.
Today, Continental is the dominant oil producer in the Bakken of North Dakota and the dominant oil producer in Oklahoma from its SCOOP and STACK assets. Production has reached record levels and the Company is routinely the lowest cost operator among its oil-weighted peers. Continental continues to deliver on its financial metrics, reducing debt by $1.6 billion in less than three years, delivering its first dividend in November 2019 and repurchasing $187 million in stock to date as of third quarter 2019. Ours is a formula designed to deliver long-term sustainable results for the Company and its investors.
An accompanying video news release is available at https://vimeo.com/378443939.