Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 69 Harold Hamm $22.4B

Random fact: Jobs growing up included picking cotton, pumping gas, fixing tires.


Hamm is chairman of Continental Resources, the biggest oil producer in the Bakken oil basin in North Dakota and Montana. The Oklahoma City-based publicly traded company pumped more than 320,000 barrels of oil or the equivalent per day in 2021, with more than half of that coming from its operations in the Bakken.

As of :
Last change No change
YTD change +$25.0M ( +0.1%)
Biggest asset Continental Resources
Country / Region United States
Age 77
Industry Energy
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Harold Hamm's net worth of $22.4B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Hamm's fortune is derived from his family's ownership of Continental Resources, an oil and gas producer that pumped more than 320,000 barrels of oil or the equivalent per day in 2021, according to its financial results. Continental is the top oil producer in the Bakken oil basin in North Dakota and Montana and is also the region's largest leaseholder, according to the company's website.

Hamm controls all of the company following the merger of the formerly public company with Hamm's Omega Acquisition in November 2022.

He previously held about 83% of the business directly and through family members, according to an October 2022 SEC filing that notes his intention to acquire the company in its entirety.

Earlier filings in 2022 revealed a transfer of shares via a dividend and dissolution agreement from Harold Hamm Family LLC to its members including Hamm's children. Shares held by family members are attributed to Hamm in this analysis to reflect his status as founder and chairman.

Hamm divorced in November 2014 and his wife received more than $1 billion in cash and other assets, such as farm equipment, based on information in the November 2014 Oklahoma divorce decree. The decree detailed about $420 million in mostly liquid assets Hamm held, including $224 million with Northern Trust, as well as accounts with J.P. Morgan and Charles Schwab.

Hamm used to own 61.77% of Hiland Partners, an oil and gas pipeline company he founded, and collected about $1.24 billion when he sold it to Kinder Morgan in February 2015. The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of these proceeds and expenses, as well as taxes, market performance charitable donations and insider transactions.

Commenting on the transfer of Continental shares in February 2022, Hamm told Bloomberg News: "Full control stays with me, so this changes nothing in that regard."


Family: Divorced, 5 children

The youngest of 13 children born to poor Oklahoma sharecroppers, Harold Hamm got into the oil business at age 18, taking over payments on a used tank truck and borrowing $1,000 to create a one-man oilfield services business in rural Ringwood, Oklahoma. Four years later, in 1967, he incorporated Shelly Dean Oil and started wildcatting for oil. Shelly Dean was the start of what is now Continental Resources, one of the largest independent exploration and production oil firms in the US, and the source of Hamm's multi-billion-dollar fortune.

Hamm was quick to recognize the potential of the Bakken oil field in North Dakota. The Bakken, a vast deposit of oil-bearing rock, had been producing oil since the 1950s in relatively small amounts through traditional vertical drilling methods. Hamm was among the first tycoons to utilize horizontal drilling and the fracturing of bedrock to gain access to greater amounts of oil.

He purchased 300,000 acres in the region in 2003. Continental Resources since became the largest leaseholder in the Bakken with more than 1 million net acres. Hamm has said that the Bakken field, which stretches into Montana, South Dakota and Canada, will ultimately yield 24 billion barrels.

The billionaire has been active in supporting diabetes research after learning he had Type II diabetes in 2000. He also advocates the humane treatment of pets by breeders. Hamm committed to give the majority of his fortune to charity via a letter to the Giving Pledge.

He and Sue Ann Arnall finalized a divorce on November 10, 2014.

  • 1945 Harold G. Hamm is born in rural Oklahoma.
  • 1963 Takes job pumping gas and fixing flats in Enid, Oklahoma.
  • 1967 Forms Shelly Dean Oil to wildcat in Oklahoma.
  • 1985 Buys portion of Petro-Lewis and its 500 wells; his largest purchase.
  • 1993 Expands beyond Oklahoma with purchase in Williston Basin.
  • 2003 Continental buys 300,000 acres in North Dakota's Bakken field.
  • 2007 Sells shares of Continental Resources in an initial public offering.
  • 2014 Hamm divorces wife Sue Ann and transfers $1 billion in assets to her.