In the long-running competition for profits in the oil and gas industry Marathon Oil is keeping up a steady pace. The company explores for oil and gas primarily in Angola, Canada, Equatorial Guinea, Iraq, Libya, Norway, Poland, the UK, and the US. In 2013 it reported proved reserves of more than 2.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent including 674 million barrels of synthetic oil derived from oil sands mining. Its major areas of production include Europe (Norway and the UK); Africa (Equatorial Guinea and Libya); and Canada (the Athabasca Oil Sands Project). In the US, the company’s core production assets are in Colorado, the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming.
Marathon Oil has oil and gas assets in Angola, Canada, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Kurdistan (Iraq), Libya, Norway, Poland, the UK, and the US.
Marathon Oil is engaged in oil and gas exploration production worldwide; oil sands mining (extracting bitumen from oil sands deposits in Alberta, and producing synthetic crude oil and vacuum gas oil); and LNG and methanol marketing in Equatorial Guinea.
Subsidiary Marathon Petroleum has oil and gas marketing, refining, pipeline, and transportation operations.
Sales and Marketing
The company’s marketing activities include the transportation of oil and gas to market centers, the sale of commodities to third parties and the storage of hydrocarbon products.
After experiencing sizable growth over the last few years, in 2013 Marathon Oil’s revenues decreased by 8% due to lower liquid hydrocarbon net sales volumes in Libya and Norway and lower liquid hydrocarbon prices and lower natural gas sales volumes, primarily the result of the sale of its Alaska assets.
In 2013 the company’s net income increased by 11% due to a decline in the provision for income tax and income from discontinued operations.
Marathon Oil’s operating cash inflow increased to $5.3 billion in 2013 (from $4 billion in 2012) due to impact of increased North America liquid hydrocarbon net sales volumes on operating income. (The $1.4 billion decrease in 2012 was primarily the result of working capital changes related to the 2012 ramp-up of operations in the Eagle Ford and Libya along with the timing of tax payments).
The company continues to focus on liquid hydrocarbon reserves and production worldwide, realizing significant increases in its three key unconventional liquids-rich plays: the Eagle Ford, Bakken, and Oklahoma resource basins. In 2014, 60% of its capital, investment, and exploration spending budget was allocated to these areas. Marathon Oil's exploration program includes prospects in Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gulf of Mexico, Kenya, and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
To free up cash to reinvest in core properties and pay down debt, in 2014 the company sold it Norwegian assets to Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA for $2.7 billion.
In 2014 Marathon Oil sold its non-operated 10% working interests in the Production Sharing Contracts and Joint Operating Agreements for Angola Blocks 31 and 32 for $2.1 billion to It sold its stake in Block 31 closed in February 2014 and the sale of interest in Block 32 is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014. The Angola operations are reported as discontinued operations for all periods presented.
Seeking stronger financial returns, in 2011 Marathon Oil (formerly a holding company with both upstream and downstream operations) spun off its downstream unit Marathon Petroleum (which had accounted for the bulk of its revenues) and became a pure-play exploration and production company.
Blackrock, Inc. owns 10% of Marathon Oil.