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 Canada, Equatorial Guinea, Iraq, Libya, Poland, the UK, and the US. In 2015 it reported proved reserves of more than 2.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent including 698 million barrels of synthetic oil derived from oil sands mining. Its major areas of production include Europe (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 Canada, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Kurdistan (Iraq), Libya, 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 Canada, and producing synthetic crude oil and vacuum gas oil), and LNG and methanol marketing in Equatorial Guinea.
The company operates through three reportable operating segments: North America E&P (69% of 2015 revenues), which explores for, produces, and markets crude oil and condensate, NGLs, and natural gas in North America; Oil Sands Mining (16%), which mines, extracts and transports bitumen from oil sands deposits in Alberta, Canada, and upgrades the bitumen to produce and market synthetic crude oil and vacuum gas oil; and International E&P (15%), which explores for, produces, and markets crude oil and condensate, NGLs, and natural gas outside of North America and produces and markets products manufactured from natural gas, such as LNG and methanol, in Equatorial Guinea.
Sales and Marketing
Marathon Oil’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.
In 2015 the company’s net revenues decreased by 48% to $5.9 billion due to decreases in all segments, particularly North America E&P segment income.
The North America E&P segment decline was primarily due to lower price realizations, partially offset by the impacts from increased net sales volumes from its three core US resource plays and lower production costs.
In 2015 Marathon Oil posted a net loss of $2.2 billion (compared to net income of $3.1 billion in 2014), mainly due to lower net revenues and higher impairments charges for the goodwill impairment of North America E&P ($335 million related to proved reserve properties, primarily in Colorado and the Gulf of Mexico).
The company’s operating cash inflow decreased by 71% to $1.6 billion.
Marathon Oil continues to focus on liquid hydrocarbon reserves and production. In 2016 the company's primary focus was on the SCOOP and STACK areas, where it holds 265,000 net acres with rights to the Woodford, Springer, Meramec, Granite Wash and other Pennsylvanian and Mississippian plays. This includes 8,000 net acres added in the Oklahoma Resource Basins, primarily in the STACK Meramec play in 2015.
To raise cash, in 2016 the company agreed to sell non-core assets for $950 million, bringing the total to $1.3 billion since 2015.
In 2015 the company realized significant increases in its three key unconventional liquids-rich plays: the Eagle Ford, Bakken, and Oklahoma resource basins. In 2015 about 40% of its spending was allocated to the Eagle Ford, $760 million for Bakken, $226 million for Oklahoma Resource Basins. Internationally the spend was $429 million primarily in Equatorial Guinea, the UK, and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and $232 million for the Gulf of Mexico and seismic surveys in Gabon and Ethiopia.
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. It also 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.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2016 the company agreed to acquire Payrock Energy Holdings (a portfolio company of EnCap Investments) for $888 million.