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Oct 13, 2014

Exclusive – Privately, Saudis tell oil market: get used to lower prices

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia is quietly telling oil market participants that Riyadh is comfortable with markedly lower oil prices for an extended period, a sharp shift in policy that may be aimed at slowing the expansion of rival producers including those in the U.S. shale patch.

Some OPEC members including Venezuela are clamoring for urgent production cuts to push global oil prices back up above $100 a barrel. But Saudi officials have telegraphed a different message in private meetings with oil market investors and analysts recently: the kingdom, OPEC’s largest producer, is ready to accept oil prices below $90 per barrel, and perhaps down to $80, for as long as a year or two, according to people who have been briefed on the recent conversations.

Sep 24, 2014

Exclusive: Oil company rewrites its history, may aid founder’s divorce case

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – Oil driller Continental Resources Inc has been revising its corporate history in ways that diminish the publicly traded company’s accomplishments under CEO Harold Hamm, part of a legal strategy that might help Hamm avoid the largest divorce award in U.S. history.

Downplaying his role in Continental’s success is central to Hamm’s chances of minimizing the financial blow from his divorce, lawyers say.

Sep 9, 2014

Chesapeake Energy to face racketeering charges in Michigan trial

By Joshua Schneyer

(Reuters) – Natural gas and oil producer Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) must face trial on charges of felony racketeering and using false pretenses related to its land-leasing practices, a state judge has ruled.

Cheboygan District Court Judge Maria Barton ruled on Monday that Oklahoma-based Chesapeake go to trial on one charge of racketeering and 20 counts of using false pretenses to allegedly defraud private landowners in the state during an oil and gas leasing boom in 2010. Barton ruled after a hearing last month. No trial date has been set.

Aug 15, 2014

Exclusive – Wife defines stakes in Oklahoma divorce: $17 billion

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – More than $17 billion of Oklahoma oilman Harold Hamm’s fortune could be subject to division with his estranged wife, according to an economic analysis presented in their divorce trial, defining the stakes in one of the biggest battles ever over a marital estate.

The analysis of Kenneth Button, an expert witness hired by Sue Ann Hamm, was laid out in court testimony and in a document provided to Reuters by Oklahoma County Judge Howard Haralson. It is one of the first pieces of financial testimony to be released from the trial, which has been conducted mostly in secrecy.

Aug 15, 2014

Wife defines stakes in Oklahoma divorce: $17 billion

OKLAHOMA CITY, Aug 14 (Reuters) – More than $17 billion of
Oklahoma oilman Harold Hamm’s fortune could be subject to
division with his estranged wife, according to an economic
analysis presented in their divorce trial, defining the stakes
in one of the biggest battles ever over a marital estate.

The analysis of Kenneth Button, an expert witness hired by
Sue Ann Hamm, was laid out in court testimony and in a document
provided to Reuters by Oklahoma County Judge Howard Haralson. It
is one of the first pieces of financial testimony to be released
from the trial, which has been conducted mostly in secrecy.

Aug 11, 2014

Oil billionaire Hamm sold Superior Energy stake citing weak returns

Aug 11 (Reuters) – Oil billionaire Harold Hamm recently sold
his remaining stake in Superior Energy Services, a
Houston-based oil services company, saying the stock wasn’t
providing the financial returns he’d hoped for, he told a court
during his divorce trial last week.

Hamm, who controls Oklahoma City-based driller Continental
Resources and has an estimated fortune of more than $19
billion, said he recalled selling the Superior shares for
between $23 and $25 per share — suggesting he missed out on a
rally that has boosted the stock to as much as $36 this year.

Aug 4, 2014

Judge bars public from Oklahoma divorce trial with billions at stake

OKLAHOMA CITY, Aug 4 (Reuters) – A judge presiding over the divorce case of Oklahoma oil
billionaire Harold Hamm closed the courtroom to the public on Monday, the trial’s opening day,
saying he feared that private business information to be discussed at trial would harm Hamm’s
company, Continental Resources.

Oklahoma County Court Judge Howard Haralson asked journalists and others without a direct
interest to exit the courtroom before attorneys began opening statements. Haralson said he would
allow public access to parts of the trial that don’t address Continental’s confidential
information. The case is expected to divide a fortune tied up in Hamm’s 68 percent stake in
Continental, worth more than $19 billion.

Aug 3, 2014

Billion-dollar debate in Oklahoma divorce: Was oilman just lucky?

NEW YORK, Aug 3 (Reuters) – For years, Continental Resources, the largest oil driller in the
booming Bakken Shale formation, touted the hard work of its CEO and founder, Oklahoma
billionaire Harold Hamm, as “a driving force” behind the company’s success.

“Over the course of the Company’s history, Mr. Hamm has successfully grown the Company
through his leadership skills and business judgment,” Continental’s annual 2013 proxy filing to
investors said.

Jul 23, 2014

U.S. moves to enhance safety of oil-by-rail shipments

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday proposed new safety rules for hauling crude oil by rail after a string of explosive accidents, in a move that could impact railroads, drillers, refiners and railcar makers amid an energy boom.

The draft rules, which are subject to a 60-day public comment period, come as regulators respond to a 50-fold hike in crude-by-rail cargoes since 2008, and more than a dozen accidents that have tarnished the lucrative new shipping trend.

Jul 17, 2014

U.S. sanctions set to slow Rosneft’s dollar debt, not oil deals

NEW YORK, July 17 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama aimed a
direct blow at Russia’s economic heart on Wednesday with
sanctions on Rosneft, the flagship oil giant that
generates more than 4 percent of the world’s crude and over 8
percent of the country’s GDP.

But in a change of tack from previous similar efforts, the
measures were narrowly tailored to slowly starve the state-run
energy firm of U.S. dollar funding, not bar it from doing
business with oil buyers such as BP or stymie
multibillion-dollar ventures with firms like ExxonMobil,
experts say.