Oil

Oilman Harold Hamm on possibility of Saudi-like attack in US: 'We don't sweat it too much'

Key Points
  • "We have a lot of export facilities ... so those things could be somewhat vulnerable, but thank goodness for the security we have in the U.S.," says the Continental Resources founder, chairman and CEO.
  • Coordinated strikes on oil processing facilities forced Saudi Aramco to stop production on more than 5% of global daily oil production.
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Continental Resources CEO: US has better oil security than Saudi Arabia

American oil billionaire Harold Hamm told CNBC on Tuesday that he's not worried about a potential attack on U.S. crude facilities like the one that happened over the weekend in Saudi Arabia.

"We're safer here in America, so we don't sweat it too much," the Continental Resources founder, chairman and CEO said in a "Squawk on the Street" interview.

"We have a lot of export facilities ... so those things could be somewhat vulnerable," he acknowledged, but then added, "thank goodness for the security we have in the U.S."

Shares of Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources fell about 11% on Tuesday after surging nearly 22% on Monday — mirroring directionally the U.S. oil price surge Monday that was nearly cut in half Tuesday on a report that Saudi oil output will return to normal faster than initially anticipated.

Saturday's coordinated drone and cruise missile strikes forced Saudi Arabia to shut down half its oil production capacity, or 5.7 million barrels per day of crude. That represents more than 5% of the world's global daily oil output. President Donald Trump said Monday it's looking like Iran was responsible, but he's in no rush to respond militarily.

Regardless of who carried out the strikes, Gary Grappo, former U.S. ambassador to Oman, told CNBC earlier Tuesday that they should never have been able to happen in the first place.

Saudi Arabia has experienced attacks before and "had to be able to see that this was a strong possibility," said Grappo, an ex-diplomat who held several roles in the State Department during former President George W. Bush's administration.

"I think the Saudi leadership has a great deal of explaining to do — that a country that ranks third in terms of total defense spending ... was not able to defend its most critical, and I can't underscore that enough, its most critical oil facility from these kinds of attacks," said Grappo, who was previously in senior positions at the U.S. embassies in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Baghdad.