Oil CEO Hamm sought ouster of scientists looking at quakes: Bloomberg

Reuters News
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Posted: May 15, 2015 11:08 PM

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Oilman Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources Inc., told a University of Oklahoma dean last year that scientists studying links between oil drilling and earthquakes should be dismissed, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.

Bloomberg, citing emails obtained through a public records request, said Hamm indicated he wanted to see some scientists at the Oklahoma Geological Survey, which is based at the university, let go.

Scientists have said the reinjection of drilling and fracking wastewater into disposal walls could be tied to earthquakes.

Bloomberg said a university spokeswoman denied any interference from Hamm, who has been a donor to the university. Bloomberg said no changes were made to the university's team of scientists.

A Continental spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Hamm said at a February conference that there was no connection between oil and gas work and a rash of earthquakes in Oklahoma, where Continental is based.

(Reporting by Terry Wade; Editing by Richard Borsuk)