HOUSTON, Oct. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO) and its partners announcedthey have received approval from the Kurdistan Regional Governmentfor the first phase in the oil development of the Atrush block inthe Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The Atrush-1 discovery well was drilled in 2011, and is locatedapproximately 50 miles northwest of Erbil. The development projectwill consist of drilling three production wells and constructing acentral processing facility. Marathon Oil and its partners expectto achieve first production by early 2015 with an estimated initialgross production of approximately 30,000 barrels of oil per day(bpd). The approval of the Field Development Plan for Phase 1provides for a 25-year production period. Additionally, the Atrush partners are continuing appraisalactivities and preparing to drill a fourth well on the block.Subject to the outcome of appraisal drilling and Governmentapproval, a potential Phase 2 development is expected to includeanother 30,000-bpd production facility. The partners will alsoevaluate the feasibility of producing associated natural gas fordelivery to the domestic market. "Marathon Oil is pleased with the progress that has been made toadvance the development of the Atrush discovery," said MitchLittle, Marathon Oil vice president of International and OffshoreProduction Operations. "Approval of the Atrush Phase 1 DevelopmentPlan is an important milestone and confirmation of the significantresource potential that prompted our entry into the region in late2010." Marathon Oil's wholly owned subsidiary Marathon Oil KDV B.V.holds a 15 percent working interest in the Atrush block. TAQAAtrush B.V., a subsidiary of TAQA, is the operator with a 39.9percent working interest; ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. holds a 20.1percent working interest through its wholly owned subsidiaryShaMaran Ventures BV (100 percent owner of General ExplorationPartners, Inc.); and the Kurdistan Regional Government holds a 25percent working interest.
Marathon Oil's asset portfolio in the Kurdistan Region of Iraqincludes a 25 percent non-operated working interest in the SarsangBlock, as well as a 45 percent working interest in both the Harirand Safen Blocks in which Marathon Oil is the operator.### This release contains forward-looking statements with respect tothe Atrush Block, including the planned Phase 1 developmentproject, expected timing and rates of production for Phase 1,anticipated appraisal and drilling activity, and the potentialdevelopment of Phase 2. Factors that could potentially affect the planned Phase 1development project and anticipated appraisal and drilling activityin the Atrush Block include pricing, supply and demand for liquidhydrocarbons and natural gas, the amount of capital available forexploration and development, regulatory constraints, timing ofcommencing production from new wells, drilling rig availability,availability of materials and labor, other risks associated withconstruction projects, the inability to obtain or delay inobtaining necessary government or third-party approvals andpermits, unforeseen hazards such as weather conditions, acts of waror terrorist acts and the governmental or military responsethereto, and other geological, operating and economicconsiderations. The expected timing and rate of production for Phase 1 and thepotential development of Phase 2 are based on current expectations,good faith estimates and projections and are not guarantees offuture performance. The development of Phase 2 is further subjectto obtaining necessary government and third-party approvals. The foregoing factors (among others) could cause actual resultsto differ materially from those set forth in the forward-lookingstatements. In accordance with the "safe harbor" provisions of thePrivate Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Marathon OilCorporation has included in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for theyear ended December 31, 2012, and subsequent Forms 10-Q and 8-K,cautionary language identifying other important factors, though notnecessarily all such factors, that could cause actual results todiffer materially from those set forth in the forward-lookingstatements.
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