Friday, December 3

Billionaire Harold Hamm On Prowl for More Permian Shale Deals

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(Bloomberg) — Billionaire oil wildcatter Harold Hamm has set aside hundreds of millions of dollars to pursue acquisitions in the US Permian Basin after a 20-year quest to gain a foothold in the world’s biggest shale field.

Continental Resources Inc., the energy explorer founded and controlled by Hamm, may spend as much as $375 million on acquisitions by the end of this year, according to a regulatory filing late Wednesday. The document didn’t provide any additional details.

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Executives did little to enlighten investors during a conference call on Thursday when they alluded to attractive assets adjacent to Permian drilling rights and wells the company has agreed to buy from Pioneer Natural Resources Co. for $3.25 billion.

“I know this might have caught some of our investors and some of you guys by surprise,” Chief Executive Officer Bill Berry said during the call. The company first began exploring potential Permian transactions “about the turn of the century.”

“We’ve looked and we’ve looked,” Berry said. Until now, they “never thought the time was right or the economics were right to enter the basin.”

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