Marathon Oil Plans 2-Part Debt Sale

Oil and gas producer Marathon Oil Corp. plans to sell $1 billion of debt this week in a two-part sale, an official for co-lead manager Banc of America Securites LLC said on Wednesday. The company expects to split the sale between 10-year notes and 30-year bonds. No details were available on the sale's pricing or exact timing.

Marathon's existing senior debt is rated ``Baa1'' by Moody's Investors Service and an equivalent ``BBB-plus'' by Standard and Poor's. The ratings are the agencies' third lowest investment grades. Marathon, whose fourth-quarter profits tumbled on lower crude oil and natural gas prices, last month announced a 3 percent increase in its 2002 capital, exploration, and investment budget. Salomon Smith Barney is also arranging the sale, dealers said.