U.S. shale drilling pioneer Harold Hamm fired back on Wednesday at critics who say the North Dakota oil fields where he made his name — and minted a fortune — have already seen their best days.
Some industry watchers say wells are running dry too quickly, producing too much gas and yielding too little oil in the Bakken, North Dakota's premier shale oil region.
"Its demise was overexaggerated," Hamm told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Wednesday. "The Bakken is back stronger than ever."
Bakken oil production has nearly rebounded to output levels prior to the 2014 collapse in oil prices.
The amount of oil produced per rig deployed by Bakken drillers is also rising. Shale oil drillers, who use advanced technology to wring oil and gas from rock formations, improved their efficiency throughout the United States during the downturn.