These are heady days for Continental Resources.
The independent oil and natural gas exploration company, formed in Enid in 1967 by wildcatter Harold Hamm as Shelly Dean Oil., is growing, both in terms of production and reserve as well as in numbers of employees.
And the company is in the midst of moving its headquarters and some 250 employees from Enid to the firm’s new home in downtown Oklahoma City, a move announced just more than a year ago.
All of which is making life interesting for John Hart, Continental’s senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer.
“It’s exciting,” Hart said. “It has a number of opportunities and challenges that go with it. We’re continually working to manage growth, put in the proper systems, hire the proper people. What fits a company of a smaller nature doesn’t necessarily fit a company of a larger nature.”
Moving for growth
At the end of 2009, Hamm — Continental’s founder, board chairman and chief executive officer — set a goal of tripling the company’s production and reserve growth by 2014.
“We’re well on track to do that,” Hart said. “At the end of 2011 we had approximately doubled the size of the company in a two-year period. I think it’s safe to say we’re on track or ahead of schedule in that plan.”
That rate of growth, Hart said, is the chief reason the company is moving its base of operations to Oklahoma City.
“The principle reason we had to relocate is we have a significant amount of hiring that we needed to do in a very short period of time,” Hart said. “We needed to have access to a larger employee base and closer access to airports and government officials.”
Continental’s strong growth rate, Hart said, is expected to continue this year.
“Our expectation is that we’ll grow (production) 37 to 40 percent in 2012 in relation to what we grew in 2011,” Hart said. “In 2011 we grew 43 percent over 2010.”