Marathon Picks Up Piceance Acreage

Marathon Oil Corp. said that it has completed a leasehold acquisition in the Piceance Basin of Colorado totaling approximately 8,700 net acres. The acreage, located in Garfield County in the Greater Grand Valley Field Complex and flanked by and on-trend with adjacent production, was acquired from Petroleum Development Corp. in a cash transaction valued at $354 million.

"The Piceance Basin currently is one of the most active basins in North America and this acquisition supports our ongoing efforts to sustain the strength of our North American production business," said Steven B. Hinchman, Marathon senior vice president of Worldwide Production. "We will be applying Marathon's extensive experience in drilling and completion techniques to help realize the full potential of this prolific resource basin."

Marathon anticipates participating in the drilling of approximately 700 wells over the next 10 years. This program has the potential to add nearly 180 million net cubic feet per day of gas production by 2014 with net recoverable resources estimated to be more than 900 billion cubic feet. First production is expected in late 2007.

The primary reservoir is the Williams Fork Formation of the Mesaverde Group which is characterized as a massive 1,300 foot sequence of stacked over- pressured channel sands in a continuous gas accumulation. The target reservoir is encountered at measured depths of 6,500 to 8,500 feet.

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, and Norway. 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. and the company's retail marketing system comprises approximately 5,600 locations in 17 states.