HOUSTON, June 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO) announced today that it hasentered into a definitive agreement with Det norske oljeselskap ASAunder which Det norske will purchase Marathon Oil's wholly ownedsubsidiary, Marathon Oil Norge AS, for a total transaction value of$2.7 billion. After adjustment for debt, net working capital andinterest on the net purchase price, Marathon Oil expects netproceeds of approximately $2.1 billion at closing. The effectivedate of the transaction is Jan. 1, 2014.

The companies expect to close the transaction, subject to thenecessary government and regulatory approvals, in the fourthquarter of this year.

"The sale of our Norway assets advances one of our key 2014priorities and further demonstrates our commitment to rigorousportfolio management to simplify and concentrate our business,"said Lee M. Tillman, Marathon Oil's president and CEO. "Sincebecoming an independent E&P company in 2011, Marathon Oil hasexecuted $6.2 billion of strategic divestitures repositioning theportfolio for future growth and profitability. The disciplinedallocation of capital to opportunities that can deliver long-termgrowth at higher returns and improved margins is a strategicimperative.

"With respect to our plans for the re-deployment of proceeds, weremain resolute in our commitment to capital discipline," Tillmanemphasized. "Marathon Oil has a deep inventory across threehigh-quality U.S. resource plays with expanding opportunities tofurther accelerate activity. Such organic growth will be our firstpriority for additional capital allocation, with the balanceavailable for share repurchases under our remaining $1.5 billionboard authorization and general corporate purposes.

"I'd also like to recognize the professionalism and dedicationof our Norway employees for their significant contributions overthe years in building a world-class operation on the NorwegianContinental Shelf. Det norske recognizes the value of not only theassets, but also the competencies and capabilities of the peoplewho have driven Marathon Oil's success in Norway," Tillmansaid. 

The sale includes the Marathon Oil-operated Alvheim floatingproduction, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, 10Company-operated licenses and a number of non-operated licenses onthe Norwegian Continental Shelf in the North Sea. Full-year 2013net production in Norway averaged approximately 80,000 barrels ofoil equivalent (BOE) per day.

U.K. Business Retained

After careful consideration of all bids, the Company received noacceptable offer for its U.K. North Sea business and has elected toretain those assets.

"From the beginning of this marketing process, we stated wewould only sell our U.K. North Sea business if we received an offerthat appropriately valued these assets," Tillman said."Accordingly, we will continue to operate this business as wealways have - with a focus on our Company's long-held values andcommitment to safe and responsible operations, and in a manner thatmaximizes shareholder value. We have an outstanding team in theU.K., and I'm proud of their continued contributions during thismarketing period. Moving forward, I have confidence they willcontinue to drive value for the Company."

Scotia Waterous served as financial advisor to Marathon Oil inthis transaction.

Marathon Oil Corporation is an international exploration andproduction company. Based in Houston, Texas, the Company had netproved reserves at the end of 2013 of approximately 2.2 billionbarrels of oil equivalent in North America, Europe and Africa. Formore information, please visit the website at http://www.marathonoil.com.

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This release contains forward-looking statements withrespect to the sale of Marathon Oil's Norway business andthe use of proceeds . Some factors that could potentiallyaffect the sale of this business are completion of the necessarygovernment and regulatory approvals and customary closingconditions. The use of proceeds is based on current expectations,good faith estimates and projections and is not a guarantee offuture performance. Actual results may differ materially from theseexpectations, estimates and projections, and are subject to certainrisks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyondthe Company's control and difficult to predict. In accordance withthe "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities LitigationReform Act of 1995, Marathon Oil Corporation has included in itsAnnual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013,and subsequent Form 10-Q, cautionary language identifying otherimportant factors, though not necessarily all such factors, thatcould cause future outcomes to differ materially from those setforth in the forward-looking statements.
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