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.”