His pending divorce has already threatened Harold Hamm’s controlling stake in Continental Resources, but a new development in his divorce case may have even more dire consequences for the billionaire. Recently, SEC filings regarding a decade-old land deal connected to the oilfield on which he built his wealth have been referenced in connection to his divorce. Dredging up the past is never an enjoyable side effect of divorce, but for Harold Hamm it could mean an even greater financial loss than he had anticipated.
Today, Continental Resources is one of the biggest oil drillers in North Dakota’s Bakken field and deems itself “America’s Oil Champion.” Bakken has an output of over one million barrels of oil per day, making it an extremely lucrative piece of land. As the CEO of Continental Resources, Harold is largely credited with fostering the company’s growth as well as pioneering the development of the Bakken oilfield.
However, documents put forth by Sue Ann Hamm as part of the couple’s divorce suggest that she played a larger role in the company’s success than Harold would like to acknowledge. SEC filings referred to in the divorce reveal that Sue Ann was once co-owner of a company that acquired land leases that were vital to the success and growth of Continental Resources.
The SEC filings and court documents show that a company called Jolette Oil acquired a stake in the Bakken oilfield years prior to Continental Resources. Jolette Oil was controlled by an entity owned by both Harold and Sue Ann. Eventually, Continental purchased Jolette’s holdings in the Bakken oilfield, suggesting a link between the participation of Sue Ann and the lucrative land leases that would one day help Continental become a leader in developing the biggest oilfield in America.
Whether or not Special Judge Howard Haralson will recognize Sue Ann’s ownership of Jolette Oil as active participation that contributed to Continental’s eventual success remains to be seen, but the implications on the high net worth divorce case could be huge.
Harold’s lawyers have already asserted in divorce court that Sue Ann is not entitled to the majority of Continental’s assets or wealth.