ND Heritage Center project getting $1.8M donation

The majority owner of an oil company that has been drilling for crude in western North Dakota has donated $1.8 million to help finance construction of a major expansion to North Dakota’s Heritage Center.

Harold Hamm’s contribution should allow construction to begin this summer. The $51.7 million expansion will double the size of the museum on the state Capitol grounds and add a theater, display galleries, new glass entrance and cafe. The building first opened in 1981.

Hamm is chief executive and the controlling stockholder of Continental Resources Inc. of Enid, Okla. He owns more than 70 percent of Continental’s stock, according to the company’s most recent annual report. At current market prices, his stake is worth more than $5 billion.

Hamm declined comment on the donation to the Heritage Center, but two officials with knowledge of it confirmed the amount to The Associated Press. [Read the full article]

Atwood Oceanics, Inc., Houston-based International Drilling Contractor (NYSE: ATW) announced today that the ATWOOD SOUTHERN CROSS (owned and operated by our wholly-owned subsidiary Atwood Oceanics Pacific Limited) has been awarded a contract (at a dayrate of $154,500) by AuDAX Resources Ltd, to drill one (1) firm well plus one option is available until March 1, 2010 to drill from one (1) to four (4) additional wells offshore Tunisia.  The rig is expected to go on dayrate around June 6, 2010 during mobilization with an expected commencement of drilling on June 15, 2010.  The drilling of the one (1) firm well is expected to take around forty (40) days to complete.

Statements contained in this report with respect to the future are forward-looking statements.  These statements reflect management’s reasonable judgment with respect to future events.  Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. [Read the full article]

Samson Oil & Gas Limited (ASX: SSN – News)(NYSE AMEX: SSN) advises that the Nabors Rig 688 is on location and, subject to resolving some final mechanical issues with the drilling rig, expects that the Gene 1-22H will spud later this evening. (January 20th MST)

This well is planned as a 5,500-foot horizontal development well in the middle Bakken Formation. Samson has a 30.6% working interest in the well.

The well will be drilled into the objective and logged to evaluate the shallower secondary objectives. The well will be horizontal at this point and will then be cased in preparation to drill the middle Bakken objective. Following the drilling of the horizontal section of the well, a liner will be placed with external casing packers, so that the horizontal section can be isolated into 15 stages, which will then be fracture stimulated sequentially. [Read the full article]

Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE: CLR) plans to announce fourth quarter 2009 earnings on Thursday, February 25, 2010 before the opening of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The Company plans to host a conference call on the same day at 10 a.m. ET to discuss its results for the quarter.

Those wishing to listen to the conference call may do so via the Company’s web site at www.contres.com or by phone:

A replay of the conference call will be available later for 30 days on the Company’s web site or by dialing:

Please use the following link to pre-register for this conference call. Callers who pre-register will be given a unique PIN to gain immediate access to the call and bypass the live operator. You may pre-register at any time, including up to and after the call start time. [Read the full article]

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