Marathon Expands in Norway

Marathon Petroleum Norge A/S, a subsidiary of Marathon Oil Company, has strengthened its position in Norway through agreements with Statoil, Norsk Hydro and TotalFinaElf, to acquire varied interests in five licenses in the Norwegian Sector of the North Sea. The portfolio additions include several undeveloped discoveries close to Marathon's existing infrastructure positions in the Heimdal and Brae areas of the North Sea. The transactions are subject to necessary approvals from the Norwegian authorities.

"As part of our international growth strategy, we intend to be a more active player in the North Sea," said Marathon president, Clarence Cazalot. "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."

Three licenses in the Heimdal area of the North Sea were acquired from Statoil. These comprise 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 contains 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 the Vale gas condensate field, which is currently under development and will be tied back to Heimdal with first production expected in mid-2002.

Two Licenses were acquired 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 and gas condensate discovery, and is located approximately 12 miles east of Brae.