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Executive Q&A with Rick Bott

Continental Resources Inc. President Rick Bott is looking to make his mark in the United States after spending most of his career traveling the globe in search of oil.
by Jay F. Marks Modified: October 19, 2012 at 11:24 pm •  Published: October 21, 2012
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A: Pretty hard to say. I've probably traveled or worked some time in 60 different countries. I've lived in Yemen twice. I've lived in Egypt. I've lived in Britain. I've lived in India. I've traveled a tremendous amount, for work, in West Africa, every country in West Africa. A lot of North Africa, South America, quite a lot of Asia and, of course, Europe.

Q: What made you decide to come back to the United States?

A: Well, I think it was probably the confluence of having fulfilled everything that we thought we wanted to do. Professionally, my wife and I went there knowing that India wasn't ultimately going to be our home. We were just tremendously successful in what we went to do, so were we able to say, with hand on heart, that we'd done a great job of what we went there to do, times a hundred. We kind of thought it was time to go somewhere else and maybe come back to the States. It was really a goal to take some time off and think about what we wanted to do next. Approximately that time, I met (Continental CEO) Harold (Hamm). That sort of started our relationship.

Q: What was it about Hamm and Continental that appealed to you?

A: Harold's really focused on leadership and building his organization. I came up here and talked to Harold for pretty much an afternoon. We just hit it off. We sort of instantly clicked. It was really my relationship with Harold that I thought, “I need to take a look at this.” I didn't know the organization very well. I knew of their reputation in the Bakken and what they've done as kind of an innovator, how much potential they had there. I did use the Bakken as an example when I was talking to the Indian government about how we were trying to develop an unconventional oil play in India. Continental was always the one who was drilling the most wells and doing it the cheapest. I think it probably comes down to the fact that he's a real explorationist at heart. I think it's in his DNA and I think it's kind of in mine. That's why I've gone the places I've gone and worked all the different basins I've worked.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?

A: My wife and I like to travel. I'm kind of a south Texas boy, so I didn't grow up with a whole lot of sophistication, but my wife's very much into the arts, mainly theater. We love going to the theater. We went to every show that they had here at the Lyric as soon as we got here. She likes that and I've learned to like that. We both still love the beach. In fact, we went surfing on our honeymoon. She didn't, but I did. When we met in Yemen, I said let's go to a nice, beautiful beach and we can go scuba diving. She goes, “Oh. I'd really like to learn.” She likes to tell the story that you have to get a certification for scuba diving. She twisted it and said, “I had to be certifiable before I could marry my husband.”

by Jay F. Marks
Energy Reporter
Jay F. Marks has been covering Oklahoma news since graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1996. He worked in Sulphur and Enid before joining The Oklahoman in 2005. Marks has been covering the energy industry since 2009.
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PERSONALLY SPEAKING

Position: President and chief operating officer for Continental Resources Inc.

Born: 1959

Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas

Residence: Living in downtown Oklahoma City while renovating a house in Nichols Hills

Family: Wife, Deborah

Education: Bachelor's degree in marine sciences and master's in geology from Texas A&M

Civic/volunteer activities: “I haven't really started anything here,” but was active in Presbyterian church, Junior Achievement, YMCA when he lived in Houston. Participates in “whatever tugs on my heart strings” wherever he lives.

What's on your iPod? “Whatever my wife puts there. We kind of have a world taste. We have music from all over the place. Really a mix of everything.”

What newspapers and magazines do you read? Wall Street Journal, The Oklahoman, Barron's, The Economist.

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