|Type||Public company (AMEX: HKN)|
|Industry||Oil and gas|
|Founded||Southlake, Texas, USA (1973)|
|Services||Oil and gas exploration and production|
HKN, Inc., formerly known as Harken Energy Corporation, is a small American oil and gas production company, with ownership interests in other production companies. The company is headquartered in Southlake, Texas, near Fort Worth. There is a second office near Dallas, in the town of Paris. The total number of employees varies. It is at approximately 20 in 2009. Shares with the stock symbol HKN trade publicly on the American Stock Exchange.
In 1986, Spectrum 7 was bought by Harken for $2.2 million. After the sale of his company, as part of the deal, George W. Bush would serve on Harken's board of directors. George W. Bush remained on the board through 1993 and was also paid fees as a consultant.
In 1987, Talat M. Othman joined the board of the company and served as the chair of the Audit Committee.
Aloha Petroleum was sold in a controversial deal in which Harken's equity stake in Aloha was turned into a loan, thereby disguising financial loses. This questionable accounting technique, which can serve to inflate profits, was also used by Enron. It helped result in the infamous 2001 Enron scandal, when the fifth largest corporation in America at the time suddenly collapsed into bankruptcy.
Insider trading allegations
Harken has attracted attention because of the role played in its affairs during the 1980s by George W. Bush, later the President of the United States. While a member of the company's board of directors, Bush sold stock in Harken on the 22nd of June, 1990, shortly before the company announced substantial losses. This transaction resulted in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of probable insider trading.
The controversy is discussed in the 2004 film Fahrenheit 9/11. In another documentary, Orwell Rolls in His Grave, one of the responders, Charles Lewis of the Center for Public Integrity said that his organisation brought this controversy on April 4, 2000, seven months before the 2000 U.S. presidential election, but the mainstream media "chose not to report the story".
- Harken Energy - George W.'s perfect storm
- Mike Allen and George Lardner Jr., "Papers Offer Details on Bush Knowledge Motive for Stock Sale In '90 Remains Unclear", Washington Post Sunday, July 14, 2002; Page A01