"The Bakken Shale acreage acquisition exposes Marathon to a significant resource play in North America," said Steven B. Hinchman, Marathon senior vice president of Worldwide Production. "We will draw upon our extensive experience in horizontal drilling, well stimulation, commercial and marketing expertise in the Rocky Mountain Basins to leverage our substantial position in the Bakken Shale."
Marathon's acreage is located within an established resource basin in Billings, Divide, Dunn, McKenzie, Mountrail and Williams Counties in North Dakota and Richland County in Montana. Several acquired locations are adjacent to existing producing wells and recent discoveries. The Company anticipates participating in the drilling of approximately 300 wells over the next four to five years with additional infill potential likely. This program has the potential to add more than 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of production by 2012.
The Bakken Shale is characterized as a 30 to 70 foot sandy dolomitic horizon encased within a highly organic black shale source rock. Existing wells in the Bakken Shale area are typically drilled to a true vertical depth of approximately 10,000 feet with horizontal extensions of 10,000 feet or greater.
Marathon is the fourth-largest U.S.-based fully integrated international energy company engaged in exploration and production; integrated gas; and refining, marketing and transportation operations. The company has exploration and production activities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Angola, Canada, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ireland, Libya, Norway and Russia. Marathon also is developing integrated gas projects that are linking stranded natural gas resources with key demand areas where domestic production is declining and demand is growing, particularly in North America. Marathon is the fifth largest refiner in the U.S. The Company's retail marketing system comprises approximately 5,500 locations in 17 states.
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