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Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 18, 2015

Hamm: End Crude Export Ban to Unleash Power of ‘Cowboyistan’

SNL Accusing OPEC of manipulating crude oil prices, the founder, chairman and CEO of Bakken Shale pioneer Continental Resources Inc. on June 16 detailed arguments for lifting the U.S. ban on oil exports, saying exports would rejuvenate a flat-lining oil industry while lowering domestic gasoline prices.

Speaking to a Washington, D.C.-centric crowd at the U.S. Energy Information Administration's 2015 Energy Conference in Washington, Harold Hamm said the combination of North Dakota's Bakken Shale and Texas' Eagle Ford Shale and "new" Permian shales — "Cowboystan" — provides the nation with more than enough production and reserves to permit exporting light, sweet crude oil.

"Horizontal drilling has transformed" oil and gas production in the U.S. to where the country "reaches energy independence" by 2020 and "we can get to the point where we can produce 20 million barrels per day," more than double what the U.S. has produced in recent months, according to the EIA.

"Only in America" could Cowboystan happen, Hamm said, because of the "three Rs: rigs, rednecks and royalties."

If it were its own country, Cowboystan would rank seventh in the world for crude production and account for 50% of the world's crude oil production growth, Hamm said. "Reserves? We rank right up there with the Saudis," he said, with 250 million barrels of proved reserves.

The problem? "We don't have the refining capacity for all this light, sweet crude," Hamm said.

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Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.