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Continental Resources moving headquarters

March 22, 2011
Continental Resources is moving its headquarters from Enid to Oklahoma City, giving Harold Hamm's company the opportunity to continue its rapid growth.


It was Hamm, chief executive officer of Continental Resources Inc., who was the mystery buyer of Devon's corporate headquarters in October (broker Ford Price fronted the $22.5 million deal).

The decision to move his company to the space being vacated by Devon next year is bittersweet. Hamm got his start in Enid in 1967 and thrived there as he stuck to oil exploration while other Oklahoma companies staked their fortunes on natural gas.

His company employs 500, including 250 in the three high-rises he owns in downtown Enid. And as production ramped up in the Bakken Shale in the northern United States and the Anadarko Basin, he faced the realization that Continental couldn't grow as fast as it needed without leaving Enid.

“We've been in a scramble for space here,” Hamm said. “We have the largest buildings downtown. Before, we could keep up with moderate growth in Enid, attract good people and get them here. But there is a time element with that. It takes time to pick them, hire them and get them relocated. With the growth we're sustaining in the company, it's very difficult to do that. You run out of time to get that done.

To meet the projections of tripling its work force by 2015, the company needed to move south. John Hart, chief financial officer, admits that sort of decision in past years might have meant following the exodus of Conoco from Ponca City and Phillips Petroleum from Bartlesville to Houston.

“If you look at companies that grew in distinct areas of Oklahoma, and as they grew they moved to Texas,” Hart said. “We don't have to look that far south anymore to grow our company.”

Hamm said downtown Oklahoma City, which is in the midst of a decade-long renaissance, was an attractive destination for Continental Resources.

“Oklahoma City is a very vibrant city and it's really very different from what it was before the bombing,” Hamm said. “There are a lot of great things going on, and we look forward to having that infrastructure and making everything available to our employees.”
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