Marathon Bags 16 Blocks in Central GOM Bidding Bonanza

Marathon Oil was the apparent high bidder on 16 blocks offered in the Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale No. 208 conducted by the Minerals Management Service (MMS). Representing a total investment of approximately $62 million net to the Company, 10 blocks are 100 percent Marathon and the remaining six blocks were bid in conjunction with partners.

The blocks cover approximately 92,000 acres (gross) in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, ranging in water depths from approximately 1,500 feet to 7,500 feet.

"These new leases will contribute to Marathon's already strong inventory of growth opportunities and future exploration activity in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico," said Annell Bay, senior vice president of Worldwide Exploration for Marathon.

"In today's lease sale we were successful in expanding Marathon's significant position in the Lower Tertiary Play with what we believe are two high-quality prospects that complement our portfolio," Bay said. "And, we added eight well-positioned blocks to our already strong position in the Miocene play. With an inventory of more than four years worth of prospects, we're planning an active drilling program beginning in 2010 when we will have a new-build drilling rig on contract."

In 2008 and late 2007, Marathon was the high bidder on 42 blocks offered in the federal Outer Continental Shelf Lease Sales No. 205 and 206. Representing a total investment of nearly $350 million net to the Company, 15 blocks were 100 percent Marathon and the remaining blocks were bid in conjunction with partners.

 

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