'Predatory' Saudi moves will backfire: US oilman

Harold Hamm: OPEC pressure opened world markets
Harold Hamm: OPEC pressure opened world markets

Not so fast, U.S. oil billionaire Harold Hamm says. (Tweet This)

Saudi Arabia's "dire action" to flood the crude market and squeeze out U.S. producers won't work, and the kingdom's claim of success is premature, the founder of Oklahoma-based Continental Resources said Thursday on CNBC's"Squawk Box."

A Saudi official told the Financial Times, "There is no doubt about it, the price fall of the last several months has deterred investors away from expensive oil, including U.S. shale, deep offshore, and heavy oils."

"They used predatory pricing to cut the price of oil down to nothing where they think we can't make it," Hamm told CNBC. "But I think they've almost guaranteed us an outlet to world markets."

This kind of calculated move by the Saudis might help rally support in Washington for lifting the decades-old U.S. export ban, which prohibits American producers from selling crude overseas, he said.

A bipartisan bill introduced Wednesday by two senators from oil-producing states aims to make that happen.

The measure championed by Senate Energy Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and North Dakota Democrat Heidi Heitkamp would lift the ban Congress passed in 1975 after the Arab oil embargo created fears of global shortages.

"We've had our hands tied behind our backs here without being able to export oil," said Hamm. "It looks like now we may get that opportunity."

—Reuters contributed to this report