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Monday, February 10, 2014

Shareholders sue oil driller Continental CEO over pipeline investment, (NYSE: CLR)

A group of minority shareholders in oil driller Continental Resources is suing chief executive Harold Hamm, alleging that Continental's nearly $100 million investment in a pipeline being built by another firm he controls will benefit him at their expense. Continental is providing partial funding for Hiland Partners, a Hamm-owned pipeline and gas plant operator, to build the $300 million Double H crude oil pipeline. The 450-mile (724-km) line from North Dakota to Wyoming is expected to start up later this year and to eventually ship up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day.A pension fund has filed suit in Oklahoma state court seeking damages and the return of profits and other benefits derived from the pipeline transaction to the company.The suit comes at a time when more investors are scrutinizing big energy companies for potential conflicts of interest, especially involving companies like Continental that were founded and part-owned by influential chief executives.A Reuters' analysis of Continental's U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings since 1996 shows the investment in Double H is one of many contracts Continental has entered with other Hamm-owned energy and logistics firms. The total value of the contracts exceeds $550 million.

Continental Resources, Inc. (Continental Resources) is an independent crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company with operations in the North, South and East regions of the United States. Shares of CLR traded higher by 0.26% or $0.28/share to $109.82. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $72.35 and as high as $121.78. On average, 1199970 shares of CLR exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 1766076.