Continental Resources’ CEO Harold Hamm isn’t one to mince words or question his decisions, especially during unprecedented times for his industry. Back in 2016, the larger-than-life billionaire wildcatter was tapped by the current administration for a cabinet position to become the first U.S. energy secretary plucked directly from the oil and gas industry. Long story short, that never transpired, and Hamm returned to doing what we does best—finding oil.
Since his brush with political fame, Hamm has emerged as an oracle of sorts and certainly a voice to be heard for crude oil. He heavily advocated government intervention during the Saudi Arabia-Russia pissing contest. He stood along CEOs from ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Occidental Petroleum in April to meet with President Trump in an oil and gas quasi-summit to discuss the state of an industry in crisis. Later that month, after the price of crude oil nose-dived into a negative stratosphere, Hamm called for a government probe into what he believed to be market manipulation or system failure behind the price wreckage.
Most recently, and on top of calls to cut U.S. oil production as well as growing storage constraints, Continental shut-in a majority of its Bakken wells in North Dakota and Montana declaring force majeure. When you’re the largest operator in the second-largest producing basin, that’s serious news and a defiant action to adapt to an oil and gas industry such as it is. And it also adversely affects the midstream space.
Continental now has announced its 1Q earnings report that comes with a $186 million loss. A lot of money, yes, but nothing compared to the billions in losses we’re seeing from other E&Ps. The company also says it will curtail about 70% of its crude output in May—one of the most aggressive cuts in production from E&Ps right now as producers plan to halt more than 600,000 BPD this month and next. Word of the day is “patience” for midstreamers pained by curbed volumes in a tumultuous time. Let’s remember, we both need each other.