Marathon Oil: Talks to sell 20% Alberta Oil sands stake fall through
BY SAABIRA CHAUDHURI
HOUSTON -- Marathon Oil said discussions to sell its 20% outside-operated stake in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project in Alberta, Canada, were unsuccessful and talks with a prospective buyer have been terminated.
Marathon Oil said it isn't engaged in further talks tied to a potential sale of the assets, but it will continue to evaluate ways to grow its portfolio. It also backed its previously announced goal of divesting between $1.5 billion and $3 billion in assets from 2011 through 2013.
As of May 22, Marathon Oil has agreed upon or closed on about $1.3 billion in divestitures.
Marathon Oil in October said it was exploring a possible sale in the Alberta project, but said given the uncertainty of a transaction going through, it wasn't included in its divestiture goal.
Marathon Oil spun off its downstream and petroleum assets in 2011 as Marathon Petroleum in an effort to focus its drilling efforts on oil-rich unconventional fields in the U.S. The company's profits from oil and gas operations are up in recent quarters, as production exceeded expectations.
Marathon Oil has also boosted its investments in oil-bearing shale formations like the Bakken in North Dakota, the Anadarko Woodford in Oklahoma and the Eagle Ford in South Texas this year, and expects to see higher production as a result.
Earlier this month, Marathon Oil reported that its first-quarter earnings fell 8.2% as the energy company set aside more for income taxes, masking revenue growth.
Shares fell 2.9% to $34.37 in recent premarket trading. The stock is up 44% in the past 12 months.
Dow Jones Newswires