Marathon Oil Corp. said Tuesday that it will spend some of the $1.5 billion in proceeds from the sale of its stake in a deepwater block off Angola to buy back its shares.
Marathon Chief Executive Clarence Cazalot said the sale highlights the company's exploration success in Angola and commitment to fiscal discipline. He said Marathon will also use the proceeds to strengthen its balance sheet and for "general corporate purposes."
The sale of Marathon's 10% stake in Angola Block 31 to a Sinopec Group joint venture brings Marathon's total asset divestiture to $2.9 billion since 2011, at the upper end of the range the company had been targeting. Marathon said Tuesday that it expects the sale to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
Under the share repurchase program authorized by Marathon's board, the company can spend up to $5 billion to buy its common stock. As of the end of last year, the company had spent $3.2 billion to buy 78 million shares under this program, according to Marathon's annual report.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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