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Continental shareholder files lawsuit over pipeline deal

A Continental Resources Inc. shareholder is questioning a pipeline deal the company signed with an affiliate owned by CEO Harold Hamm and his family.
BY JAY F. MARKS jmarks@opubco.com Modified: September 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm •  Published: September 19, 2013
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A Continental Resources Inc. shareholder has filed a lawsuit over the company's pipeline deal with affiliate Hiland Partners LP.

Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund contends the deal will cost Continental nearly $100 million over five years to move up to 100,000 barrels of oil a day on the pipeline.

That is one-third of the total development cost of the Hiland pipeline from Dore, N.D., to Guernsey, Wyo., but Continental will have access to only one-tenth of the line's capacity, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Oklahoma County District Court.

“Moreover, Continental is obligated to finance Hiland's pipeline even if the company never transports oil through it,” according to the lawsuit.

The pension fund accuses Continental's board of breaching its fiduciary duty to the company. It maintains Continental CEO Harold Hamm will receive the “lion's share” of profits from the pipeline since he owns 68 percent of Continental's stock, while he and his family own Hiland, a privately held company.

A Continental spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit Thursday because the company had not received a copy of it.

Officials said in May that the deal was competitively bid and did not represent a conflict of interest.