Marathon Oil seeks to offload blocks in Kenya and Ethiopia

Houston based Exploration Company Marathon Oil is said to have sought bids for of its onshore blocks in East Africa as the company puts more focus on drilling in U.S shale formations.

Citing the company’s sale advisor Reuters says the company is taking offers for all or part of its acreage in East Africa with cash bids due for July 23 and the data room to be opened to potential investors on May 29.

Among the blocks that are up for grabs include the South Omo concession in Ethiopia where Marathon holds 20 percent working interest acquired from Agriterra Limited in October 2012. Tullow Oil is the operator of the concession with a 50 percent working interest, and Africa Oil holds the remaining 30 percent working interest. The concession has an area of approximately 1.1 million net acres (5.4 million gross).

The company also has lucrative acreage in Kenya especially Block 9 where the company alongside its joint venture partner Africa Oil discovered natural gas in the Sala 1 well. The Sala-2 appraisal well however failed find any significant hydrocarbons updip.

Kenya’s Block 9 is approximately 1.9 million net acres (3.9 million gross) along a prospective Cretaceous Rift Trend. Africa Oil with a 50 percent working interest is to operate during the exploration phase, and Marathon Oil has the right to assume the role of operator if a commercial discovery is made.

Marathon Oil also has a 15 percent working interest in Block 12A where Tullow Oil is the operator with a 65 percent working interest, and Africa Oil retains a 20 percent working interest.

Block 12A is approximately 750,000 net acres (5 million gross) and is contiguous with Block 10BB to the north, which contains the significant Ngamia-1 oil discovery.

Block Operator Tullow Oil has said it intends to drill its first exploration oil well named Lekep-A in Elgeyo Marakwet later this year, as the company continues to expand its oil and gas search into new areas within the country.

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