Trump VP prospect Doug Burgum and GOP oil baron Harold Hamm are allies in enterprise and politics

Trump VP prospect Doug Burgum and GOP oil baron Harold Hamm are allies in enterprise and politics

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump shakes arms with North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum as Vivek Ramaswamy, left, watches at a marketing campaign rally at The Margate Resort in Laconia, New Hampshire, Jan. 22, 2024.

Jabin Botsford | The Washington Put up | Getty Pictures

If former President Donald Trump faucets North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum to be his operating mate, the largest beneficiary of the partnership might be another person totally: Harold Hamm, the billionaire founder and govt chairman of shale oil drilling large Continental Sources, who may find yourself with two highly effective allies in a Trump White Home.

Burgum’s ties to Hamm and the shale oil drilling large he based are complicated. Continental is the biggest oil and fuel leaseholder in North Dakota, the place oil and fuel is the largest business by income.

The 2 males even have a friendship exterior of enterprise: Burgum not too long ago contributed a rave overview blurb to Hamm’s new memoir. And through his 2023 state of the state deal with, Burgum in contrast Hamm favorably to President Theodore Roosevelt, describing Hamm as an individual “whose grit, resilience, onerous work and dedication has modified North Dakota and our nation.”

However Burgum has an much more private hyperlink to Continental: Burgum’s household leases 200 acres of farmland in Williams County to the vitality large for the corporate to pump oil and fuel, based on beforehand unreported enterprise data and a federal financial disclosure report.

Burgum has made as much as $50,000 in royalties since late 2022, whereas he is been governor, from the take care of Continental Sources, based on his monetary disclosure, particulars of which haven’t been reported.

Specialists advised CNBC that Burgum and his household enterprise doubtless made 1000’s extra from the settlement with Continental Sources since signing a contract with the corporate in 2009.

This hyperlink between Burgum and Continental highlights one of many potential dangers for Trump of choosing a operating mate who has lived most of his grownup life in non-public.

Burgum has by no means been subjected to the form of scrutiny that somebody like Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has undergone and from which Rubio has emerged politically intact.

Burgum endorsed Trump in January, a month after he dropped out of the Republican major for president. Since then, he has develop into an advisor to Trump on vitality coverage and joined a shortlist of contenders to be the previous president’s operating mate.

Hamm, in the meantime, is certainly one of Trump’s greatest supporters within the business. Burgum, Hamm and different business advocates had been reportedly at a gathering at Trump’s non-public Florida membership, Mar-a-Lago, the place the previous president referred to as on oil and fuel executives to donate $1 billion to his marketing campaign in alternate for his plan to roll again environmental laws.

Hamm is co-hosting an occasion for Trump that is sponsored by the previous president’s political motion committee, Make America Nice Once more Inc., on Could 22, based on an invite.

Continental Sources donated $1 million to the tremendous PAC in April, based on Federal Election Fee data. Hamm gave $614,000 to the Trump 47 Committee in March.

Burgum’s oil take care of Continental

The unique settlement between the Burgum Farm Partnership and Continental Sources was signed by Bradley Burgum, the governor’s late brother, based on a land lease reviewed by CNBC.

Burgum spokesman Mike Nowatzki advised CNBC the contract was drawn up years earlier than the governor was sworn into workplace in 2017.

“North Dakota is a number one vitality producer, together with the No. 3 oil producing state. Tens of 1000’s of households and mineral house owners have comparable preparations,” Nowatzki mentioned. “Because the publicly out there disclosures present: The cited settlement started a few years earlier than he grew to become governor.”

Nowatzki didn’t reply particular questions in regards to the deal, Burgum’s function with the household enterprise or his relationship with Hamm.

A spokeswoman for each Continental Sources and Hamm didn’t reply to a request for remark. A spokesman for the Trump marketing campaign didn’t reply to a request for remark.

CNBC obtained Burgum’s private monetary disclosure by a request to the Federal Election Fee. His enterprise data had been acquired by the North Dakota secretary of state’s workplace.

Knowledge from North Dakota’s Minerals Division exhibits that the places of the oil and fuel wells matches the coordinates of Burgum’s household farm on his enterprise data. The state’s information doesn’t determine Burgum’s deal with, however the space the place the farm and 7 of Continental Sources wells are positioned is inside a small township named Brooklyn.

All seven wells have been lively since 2011, simply two years after Burgum’s household signed an settlement with Continental Sources. The wells produced over 5,000 barrels of oil and 1000’s of cubic toes in pure fuel in March alone, based on the newest information from Drilling Edge. It is unclear how lots of the seven wells are positioned straight on the Burgum property.

Burgum was elected governor in 2016 and reelected to a second time period in 2020. He is not operating for reelection in 2024.

The Burgum Farm Partnership LLP, which oversees the household farm land in Williams County and Cass County, is price between $500,001 and $1 million, based on the monetary disclosure.

Doug Burgum is a managing companion of the Burgum Farm Partnership, and he signed the companies’ newest annual report in March. Burgum’s monetary disclosure says the governor is a non-managing member and the corporate is a “household funding” restricted legal responsibility partnership.

The corporate’s annual report that was filed to the secretary of state’s workplace in April lists Burgum, his late brother’s two youngsters, his sister, Barbara, and his personal three grownup youngsters as managing companions of the household enterprise.

The oil and fuel land deal says Continental Sources offers the Burgum Farm Partnership 19% of the proceeds from the gross sales of oil and fuel Continental bought after it’s pumped from the Burgum property, based on the contract and specialists who reviewed the data.

“The larger profit is that the Burgum Farm Partnership doesn’t have to speculate any cash to drill the wells, accumulate the hydrocarbons (no pipes, no tanks, no roads),” Edward Hirs, an vitality fellow on the College of Houston, mentioned in an electronic mail after reviewing the contract.

The royalty funds arrive in month-to-month and quarterly installments, based on the settlement.

The solar units behind a pumpjack throughout a gusty evening in Fort Stockton, Texas, March 24, 2024.

Brandon Bell | Getty Pictures

Specialists word that landholders leasing their property to grease and fuel corporations could make 1000’s of {dollars} extra past the royalties in bonuses and different funds.

“The corporate will often pay the land proprietor a ‘bonus’ for signing the lease (often lots of or 1000’s of {dollars} per acre, relying on how scorching the market may be),” mentioned Jack Balagia, an adjunct professor on the College of Texas and former basic counsel for Exxon Mobil. 

Ryan Kellogg, a professor on the College of Chicago who reviewed the contract, mentioned the doc doesn’t disclose particulars of a bonus to the Burgum farm firm, besides to offer a low vary of how a lot was paid.

“The up-front bonus cost will not be disclosed,” Kellogg mentioned. “It is simply listed as ‘$10 and extra’ the place the ‘extra’ is probably vital. Bonuses are nearly by no means disclosed in leases.”

The Burgum contract additionally says that the household enterprise made cash from Continental Sources by one preliminary down cost referred to as “paid-up” on the lease, with no particulars supplied on how a lot Burgum and his household noticed from that a part of the settlement.

“By paid-up, [we mean] a lease the place all money for the time period of the lease is paid upfront, and by a rental kind, we imply one with a down cost and rental funds annually after that,” mentioned Ted Borrego, an adjunct professor on the College of Houston Regulation Middle.

Burgum drilling contract raises questions

Authorities ethics specialists say the brand new particulars on Burgum’s Continental lease deal underscore the truth that if Burgum had been to assist implement vitality coverage in a Trump White Home — both as his vp or in a Cupboard place — his work may personally profit the North Dakota governor and his household.

“There are probably vital battle of curiosity issues with respect to Mr. Burgum’s oil and fuel leases if Trump had been to be reelected and Burgum chosen to play an administration function” in implementing Trump’s vitality insurance policies, mentioned Virginia Canter, chief ethics counsel for watchdog Residents for Duty and Ethics in Washington.

Trump has promised that certainly one of his first acts in workplace, if he’s elected, can be to implement a “drill, baby, drill” vitality coverage and finish delays in federal drilling permits and leases for American oil and pure fuel manufacturing.

“A major battle of curiosity concern would come up, for instance, if implementation of those insurance policies would have an effect on the worth of Burgum’s leased property pursuits, his oil and fuel leases or the royalties he receives from Continental Sources,” mentioned Canter.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum encourages voters to help Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump throughout a marketing campaign rally within the basement ballroom of The Margate Resort in Laconia, New Hampshire, Jan. 22, 2024.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Pictures

Neither of Burgum’s two monetary disclosures from his profitable runs for governor reveal a land take care of Continental Sources. North Dakota requires candidates for state workplace to reveal solely the names of companies that don’t act as their principal supply of earnings. No different particulars are required to be disclosed.

Since Burgum first ran for governor in 2016, he is disclosed to the North Dakota secretary of state’s workplace that he and his spouse, Kathryn, have a monetary curiosity in additional than a dozen corporations, together with Burgum Farm Partnership.

However these three-page state data don’t specify how a lot of a monetary curiosity they’ve in these corporations nor any cash they make from these companies. 

A candidate for president or Congress is required to reveal many extra particulars, together with a spread of earnings from every of their property through the earlier 12 months.

Burgum’s federal disclosure report spans 26 pages and divulges scores of carefully held LLCs, partnerships and property. With Burgum’s internet price simply within the lots of of hundreds of thousands, the Continental lease varieties solely a small a part of his earnings streams.

Burgum and Trump aligned on vitality

In the end, it might not matter to Trump whether or not Burgum has been absolutely vetted if the governor is the particular person he desires on his ticket.

For Trump, Burgum represents a key ally within the oil and fuel enterprise, as the previous president appears to be like to boost cash from the business’s executives.

Dan Eberhart, who runs oil and fuel drilling firm Canary, mentioned a Trump/Burgum ticket may assist to perform this.

“Selecting Burgum would carry extra business donors to Trump’s orbit,” Eberhart mentioned in a current interview.

“Nominating Burgum as VP would ship a powerful sign to the business that we might have an essential voice in a possible Trump administration,” he added.

President Donald Trump greets Harold Hamm after he was launched by Hamm on the Shale Perception 2019 Convention in Pittsburgh, Oct. 23, 2019.

Leah Millis | Reuters

Authorities ethics watchdogs have additionally began to take discover of the connection between Trump, Hamm, Burgum and others linked to the oil and fuel business.

“The truth that Mr. Burgum has an earnings producing, oil and fuel lease association with Continental Sources itself raises its personal issues, since Continental Sources’ govt chairman, Harold Hamm, not too long ago participated with different oil and fuel executives and Mr. Burgum within the Mar-a-Lago assembly Mr. Trump held final month looking for $1 billion in fundraising from these in attendance,” mentioned Canter.

“Below these circumstances, Mr. Burgum appears to be uniquely positioned to learn himself each financially and politically relying on what he is ready to carry to the desk that may serve the respective pursuits of Trump and Hamm,” she mentioned.

Hamm’s firm has had in depth enterprise in North Dakota for over a decade, and the state is ranked within the prime three states to provide oil.

In 2022, Hamm introduced Continental Sources was investing $250 million right into a pipeline that spanned 2,000 miles to seize carbon dioxide and pump it underground for storage in North Dakota. Final 12 months, Hamm donated $50 million to a planned library in North Dakota honoring Roosevelt.

Hamm’s alliance with Burgum preceded a donation Continental Sources made to a PAC that backed the North Dakota governor when he ran for president. The corporate gave $250,000 to the pro-Burgum Better of America PAC in July, based on FEC filings.

Burgum’s gubernatorial marketing campaign has commonly been backed by different executives within the oil and fuel business, based on information from the nonpartisan OpenSecrets.

Burgum’s profitable marketing campaign for governor in 2020 acquired greater than $35,000 from these within the oil and fuel business. That quantity is second solely to the greater than $1 million Burgum put into his marketing campaign.

Correction: This story has been up to date to mirror the right spelling of Make America Nice Once more Inc. and the right spelling of Ryan Kellogg’s identify.

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