Marathon To Shell Shale Acreage For $270M

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Marathon Oil, the Texas-based integrated oil company, will sell a 30% stake in the DJ Basin of southeastern Wyoming and northern Colorado to Japan's Marubeni for $270 million. Marathon owns 180,000 net acres in the DJ Basin, which is an oil-shale formation.

Marubeni, a trading company, is paying about $5,000 per acre, the companies said. Marathon started leasing acreage in the DJ Basin last year, and is acquiring seismic data with plans to be part of eight to 12 gross exploration wells by the end of this year, Bloomberg news reported.

''Our significant acreage position in the DJ Basin reinforces our strategy of targeting unconventional, oil-focused resource plays in the U.S. that provide low-risk, scalable growth opportunities. It also allows us to apply expertise developed over the past several years in other unconventional shale plays such as the Bakken formation in North Dakota,'' Marathon (MRO) said in a statement.

The transaction with Marubeni is expected to close on April 28. Earlier this year, Marathon announced that it is spinning-off its downstream operations.

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