Marathon Makes Gas/Condensate Discovery Beneath Alba Field

Marathon Oil has made a natural gas and condensate discovery on the Alba Block (Sub Area A) offshore Equatorial Guinea.

The Deep Luba discovery well, drilled from the Alba field production platform, is located approximately 18 miles west of Bioko Island in 245 feet of water. The well was drilled to a total measured depth of 15,497 feet and encountered 270 feet of net gas/condensate pay in the Lower Isongo section approximately 1,000 feet below the currently producing Alba field pay sands. The well also encountered gas/condensate pay in the shallower Isongo sands in the Alba field producing section.

"The Deep Luba discovery reinforces the additional resource potential of the Alba field," said Philip Behrman, Marathon senior vice president of Worldwide Exploration. "Potential development scenarios, including production through the existing liquids operations of the Alba field and the future liquefied natural gas development on Bioko Island, will be considered upon completion of testing."

One of the Deep Luba well's pay zones was tested at a stabilized rate of 18.1 million cubic feet of gas and 1,000 barrels of condensate per day on a 32/64 inch choke. These initial results are encouraging because each of the remaining two untested zones are thicker and appear to be of better quality based on wireline log analysis. Marathon expects to continue with testing of the remaining pay zones during the second half of 2004.

Marathon holds a 63 percent interest in the Alba field and serves as operator. Noble Energy Inc. holds a 34 percent interest, and Compania Nacional de Petroleos de Guinea Ecuatorial (GEPetrol), the national oil company of Equatorial Guinea, holds the remaining 3 percent interest.