Harold Hamm paused, considering the question. What’s the best advice he’d given President Donald J. Trump?

Quiz Hamm on the date he drilled his first well in Montana, and the chairman and CEO of Continental Resources Inc. can instantly fire back, “April 7, 1995.”

But here he takes his time.

From early June through mid-August, from Oklahoma to Colorado, Hamm spoke to Oil and Gas Investor about the state of the oil and gas industry, his thoughts on politics, ethanol, trade wars and how pipelines ought to be approved. And he spoke about his role as informal adviser, and friend, to the president.

Over the years, Hamm has accumulated as many titles as he has billions of dollars: industry titan, wildcatter, Bakken pioneer, executive of the year, “Fracking King.”

At 73, he’s been one of the most successful and influential oil and gas executives in America. In Washington, he’s been a prominent energy evangelist, leading efforts to lift the oil export ban in 2015. He’s carrying on the same work in a far more important, behind-the-scenes role, today. The Financial Times once described him as “Trump’s oilman.” But his role is far more nuanced than that.

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