Marathon Oil to sell stake in Angolan field for $590 million

Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:31am EDT

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(Reuters) - Marathon Oil Corp (MRO.N) said it plans to sell its stake in an oil and gas field offshore Angola for about $590 million as part of an asset disposal program aimed at shoring up its balance sheet and funding exploration and development projects.

The company also said it would acquire about 4,800 net acres in the Eagle Ford shale field in Texas for $97 million.

Marathon Oil said it reached an agreement in principle to sell its 10 percent stake in Block 32 offshore Angola to state-run oil firm Sonangol EP.

Houston-based Marathon Oil in June sold its 10 percent stake in another Angolan field called Block 31 to China's Sinopec Group for $1.5 billion.

Marathon Oil had said it would use the proceeds from the deal with Sinopec to buy back its shares.

The company on Tuesday said it was moving forward with its plan to buy back $1 billion of its stock.

The deal with Sonangol, expected to close in the fourth quarter, takes Marathon Oil's asset sales to $3.5 billion since 2011. That is higher than the company's initial target of raising $3 billion in three years from 2011.

Marathon Oil and its partners including French oil major Total SA (TOTF.PA) have drilled more than 30 exploration wells in Block 31 and Block 32.

Marathon Oil shares were up about 1 percent at $36.75 before the bell.

(Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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