Marathon Oil sells 10% in offshore Angola block to Sonangol for $590 mn

Marathon Oil Corp yesterday agreed to sell its entire 10-per cent stake in Block 32 offshore Angola to state-owned energy company Sonangol EP for $590 million, as part of its earlier plan of shedding assets worth $3 billion.

The sale comes nearly three months after the Houston-based company agreed to sell its 10 per cent stake in Block 31 offshore Angola, which has estimated proved and probable reserves of 533 barrels, to China National Petroleum Corp for $1.52 billion. (See: CNPC to buy Marathon Oil's stake in Angolan offshore block for $1.52 bn)

Both divestures are in line with Marathon's plan, announced in late 2011, to sell non-core assets worth up to $3 billion, in order to fund its lucrative operations.

Prior to this sale, Marathon has so far sold assets worth $2.82 billion.

Marathon and its partners have drilled more than 30 successful exploration wells in Block 31 and Block 32.

In Block 32, Marathon holds 10 per cent, Total Exploration and Production Angola, operator of the block, holds 30 per cent, Sonangol 20 per cent, China Sonangol International Holding 20 per cent, Esso Exploration and Production Angola 15 per cent and Brazil's Petrogal 5 per cent.

The partners are developing the Kaombo field in the southeastern part of Block 32, where front-end engineering and design for the development is under way. Production is expected to start from two FPSO vessels in 2016.

Marathon, the fourth-largest integrated oil company in the US and its fifth largest refiner,