Speed Reads

Love and money

Tanking oil prices could derail Oklahoma oilman's billion-dollar divorce payout

Russia isn't the only one rueing the sharp drop in oil prices. When Oklahoma billionaire Harold Hamm was ordered to pay ex-wife Sue Ann Arnall a record $1 billion in their divorce hearing last month, he called the judgment "fair and equitable" — Arnell's lawyers had sought half the couple's estimated $17 billion fortune.

But now that oil has fallen to $57 a barrel, cutting the value of Hamm's stock in his company, Continental Resources, to $9.3 billion, from as much as $19 billion in August, Hamm has appealed the "erroneous and inequitable" divorce ruling, Reuters reports. Continental is the biggest driller in the North Dakota fracking boom.

Arnell has also appealed the divorce ruling, arguing that she helped build the company during the couple's 26-year marriage, as both wife and Continental employee, and is entitled to a larger share; the Hamms didn't have a prenuptial agreement. Both appeals will be considered by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.