Shale Mogul and Trump Confidant Hamm Finds Solace in Senate Race


Billionaire oilman Harold Hamm, a major Republican donor and confidant for President Donald Trump, said he’s waiting for all “legal” votes to be counted and expressed relief that Congress will provide a backstop against potential legislation that could be harmful to the once-booming shale patch.

“I believe that had the Democrats’ position to eliminate oil and gas -- they call fracking -- had that been known at the commencement of early voting, the outcome would have swung further to President Trump,” Hamm, the chairman and founder of Continental Resources Inc. told analysts and investors Friday on a conference call announcing third-quarter results. “Thank goodness it looks like we’re going to control the Senate and add to the House representation. That’s the game we’ll be playing again to hold them at bay.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s on the cusp of victory in the presidential race, has said he wants to eliminate new fracking on land overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. That only accounts for a small portion of U.S. production.

Hamm said Friday his Oklahoma City-based oil explorer is “lucky” because its acreage portfolio has very little exposure to federal lands, at about 7%.

“We suffered death by 1,000 cuts” during the Obama administration, Hamm said. “We’ll have our work cut out if it goes that way. But you know we’re used to playing that game; it’ll be up to us again to do that again.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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