UPDATE 1-Marathon Oil profit jumps 26 pct on strong shale production

Mon Aug 4, 2014 9:14pm EDT

* Shares up 2 pct after hours

* Q2 profit $0.80/share vs $0.60/share

* Q2 production for sale, excluding Libya, up 6 pct (Adds details on shale production, share movement)

Aug 4 (Reuters) - Marathon Oil Corp on Monday reported a jump in second-quarter profit, driven by a strong production growth and higher crude oil and condensate prices in the United States.

The company's share rose as much 2 percent in trading after the bell.

Production available for sale from continuing operations, excluding Libya, rose 6 percent in the quarter to an average of 383,000 net barrels oil equivalent per day (boed).

The increase was driven by a continued growth in North American shale production, which primarily focuses on plays in Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota.

The company expects the region to produce 235 million to 248 million barrels oil equivalent per day (boed) in the third quarter, compared with 200 million boed produced in the corresponding quarter last year.

Marathon Oil expects overseas production available for sale, excluding Libya, to remain flat in the current quarter.

U.S. oil and gas companies are drilling more in domestic shale fields where wells bring better profits and steady production growth is easier to achieve.

Marathon Oil's second-quarter profit rose to $540 million, or 80 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30 from $426 million, or 60 cents per share, a year earlier.

Total oil and gas sales volumes, excluding Libya, averaged 394,000 boed, up from 361,000 net boed last year.

Houston-based Marathon Oil's shares, which closed at $39.22 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange, rose to $40 in aftermarket trading after the company reported results. (Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston and Kanika Sikka in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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