HKN, Inc.

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HKN, Inc.
Public company
Industry Petroleum industry
Founded 1973; 45 years ago (1973)
Headquarters Southlake, Texas
Key people
Alan G. Quasha, Chairman
Mikel D. Faulkner, CEO
Kristina M. Humphries, CFO
Revenue Decrease $385 thousand (2016)
Decrease -$7 million (2016)
Total assets Decrease $11 million (2016)
Total equity Decrease $11 million (2016)
Number of employees
Footnotes / references

HKN, Inc., formerly Harken Energy Corporation, is a petroleum and natural gas exploration and production company headquartered in Southlake, Texas. It is notable for the Harken Energy scandal, which involved allegations of insider trading by George W. Bush in 1990.[2]


In 1973, the company was founded as an unprofitable collection of Texas oil wells for investors seeking tax write-offs.[3]

In 1986, the company acquired Spectrum 7 for 200,000 shares from George W. Bush.[3] After the sale of his company, Bush served on the board of directors of the company and received $80,000-$100,000 per year in consulting fees. Bush remained on the board through 1993.[3]

In 1987, Talat Othman joined the board of the company and served as the chair of the Audit Committee.

In 1989, the company's subsidiary Aloha Petroleum was sold to company insiders for $12 million, most of which was borrowed from Harken. The sale of the subsidiary for an exorbitant price helped the company show a profit that year and disguise losses, a similar technique used by Enron that led to the Enron scandal.[3]

In September 1989, the company made an offer to acquire Tesoro Petroleum.[4] The offer was withdrawn in February 1990.[5]

In 2007, the company changed its name to HKN, Inc.[6]


Insider trading allegations[edit]

Harken attracted attention because of the role played in its affairs during the 1980s by George W. Bush, later the President of the United States. On June 22, 1990, while he was a member of the company's board of directors, Bush sold stock in Harken shortly before the company announced substantial losses.[7] This transaction resulted in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of probable insider trading.

A transaction associated with the financial endowment of Harvard University was also investigated.[8]

Exploration offshore Costa Rica[edit]

In 2000, a subsidiary of the company received a 20-year concession to exploit resources offshore Costa Rica. After pressure from indigenous tribes and environmentalists, operating as Acción de Lucha Anti-Petrola, the government instituted a moratorium on exploration. In September 2003, the company filed a dispute seeking $57 million from the government of Costa Rica for lost earnings. The lawsuit was thrown out of court and the concession was revoked.


External links[edit]