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Source: www.asiaecon.org |


Marathon announced that its subsidiary, Marathon International Petroleum Angola Block 32 Limited, has began of agreement with Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation (SINOPEC) and CNOOC International Limited (CNOOC), and it will purchase an undivided 20 percent participating interest in the Production Sharing Contract and Joint Operating Agreement in Block 32 offshore Angola. The companies expect to close the transaction by year-end 2009, subject to Government and regulatory approvals. For transfer of working interests in Angola, the concessionaire and the other Block 32 partners have rights of first refusal.

The transaction has a total value of $1.3 billion, excluding any purchase price adjustments at closing, with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2009. Marathon will retain a 10 percent working interest in Block 32.

David E. Roberts, Jr. Marathon Executive vice-President said: “This sale demonstrates the significant amount of value being created through Marathon’s exploration success in Angola and elsewhere around the world. With the divestiture of a portion of our Angola interest, we are able to bring better balance to our overall portfolio by capturing the sizable amount of value we have created and redeploying capital into other growth regions for the Company. At the same time, maintaining a 10 percent interest in both Blocks 31 and 32 provides Marathon with exposure to this important resource base,”

“Our worldwide exploration success rate of over 60 percent with 48 significant discoveries over the past seven years - and a very attractive portfolio of global opportunities yet to come - further illustrates Marathon’s value creation capability and places us well on track for continued growth,” Roberts said.

The concessionaire of Block 32 is Sonangol, Angola’s state-owned oil company. The operator is TOTAL Exploration and Production Angola (Block 32 Ltd) with 30 percent interest. Sonangol P&P holds a 20 percent interest; Esso Exploration and Production Angola (Block 32) holds a 15 percent interest; and Petrogal holds a 5 percent interest.

Marathon’s financial advisor for this transaction is Standard Chartered Bank.

The transaction total excluded any purchase price adjustments at closing and has an effective date of Jan. 1, 2009. Marathon will retain a 10% working interest in the block.

The companies expect to close the transaction by yearend, subject to government and regulatory approvals. For transfer of working interests in Angola, the concessionaire and the other Block 32 partners have rights of first refusal.

Angola state-owned oil firm Sonangol serves as concessionaire of Block 32. Block operator Total E&P Angola (Block 32) Ltd. holds 30% interest. Other partners are Sonangol P&P 20%, Esso E&P Angola (Block 32) 15%, and Petrogal 5%.

Shares of Chinese energy majors CNOOC Ltd. and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) gained in Hong Kong trading Monday, helped by news that their joint venture will acquire a 20% stake in an Angolan oil block from a subsidiary of U.S.-based Marathon Oil Corp.
The two Chinese state-owned firms will together pay Marathon  $1.3 billion to acquire the stake in the so-called Angola Block 32, which has 12 previously announced discoveries.

The oil field “is a significant resource base with estimated recoverable light crude oil reserves of 1.5 billion barrels,” Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a report. “The $1.3 billion consideration compares with our valuation of $1.4 billion to $1.65 billion and Marathon’s publicly disclosed offer of $1.8 billion to $2 billion.”

They said the acquisition would build on CNOOC’s “growing deepwater exposure” and values the recoverable reserves at $4.30 a barrel. CNOOC’s share of the proven reserves from the field, at 150 million barrels, compares with its 2008 proven reserves of 2.5 billion barrels.

Source: www.asiaecon.org |



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