Marathon buys interests in five Norwegian North Sea licenses

Marathon Petroleum Norge AS, a Marathon Oil Co. subsidiary, has bought interests in the Norwegian North Sea from Statoil, Norsk Hydro AS, and TotalFinaElf.

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Aug. 29 -- Marathon Petroleum Norge AS, a Marathon Oil Co. subsidiary, has bought interests in the Norwegian North Sea from Statoil AS, Norsk Hydro AS, and TotalFinaElf SA.

Marathon said the portfolio additions include several undeveloped discoveries close to its infrastructure positions in the Heimdal and Brae field areas. The transactions are subject to approval by the Norwegian government.

Clarence Cazalot, Marathon president, said, "As part of our international growth strategy, we intend to be a more active player in the North Sea. These deals provide exploration and appraisal opportunities close to our Brae-Heimdal infrastructure where we will be able to develop reserves in a cost effective and timely manner. Norway has the potential to become a future core area for Marathon as Norwegian reserves are developed to meet growing European gas demand."

Marathon acquired from Statoil three interests in the Heimdal area. They were an 18.6% interest in License 088, which contains the Peik gas condensate discovery; a 20% interest in License 102, which contains the Skirne and Byggve gas discoveries and the East Heimdal oil discovery; and a 10% interest in License 150, which also has an oil discovery.

Marathon has a 23.8% interest in the nearby Heimdal infrastructure, which is being developed as a gas-processing hub. The company also has a 46.9% interest in Vale gas-condensate field, which will be tied back to Heimdal with first production expected in mid-2002.

Marathon also acquired two licenses close to the Marathon-operated Brae fields complex. These comprise a 28.2% interest in License 025 by acquiring an 18.2% interest from TotalFinaElf and 10% from Norsk Hydro and a 10% interest in adjacent License 187 acquired from Norsk Hydro. License 025 contains the Gudrun oil-condensate discovery and is 12 miles east of Brae.

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