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Vol. 15, No. 46 Week of November 14, 2010
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

The Explorers 2010: Marathon Oil

Marathon’s history in Alaska is intertwined with the history of the Cook Inlet basin. The Houston-based company arrived in Alaska in 1954 as the Ohio Oil Co., helped discover the Kenai gas field and began supplying Anchorage in 1961, a relationship that continues today. In 1969, the company partnered with what is now ConocoPhillips to build the first liquefied natural gas export facility in the country to ship Cook Inlet natural gas supplies to Asia. In 1996, Marathon sold its oil properties in Alaska to focus on natural gas.

Marathon operates the Beaver Creek, Cannery Loop, Kasilof, Kenai, Ninilchik, North Trading Bay and Sterling units, and hold interests in several other fields in the Cook Inlet basin. The company produced some 115 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in Alaska in 2009. Marathon also owns several pipelines and a stake in the liquefied natural gas export facility in Nikiski. Marathon holds nearly 56,500 acres of state leases.

Marathon drilled nine wells in 2008, but only six wells in 2009. The company expects to drill between two and six wells per year in Alaska between 2010 and 2012. In March 2010, Marathon drilled an exploration well at the Sunrise prospect on Cook Inlet Region Inc. leases inside the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, an item long on the company’s wish list. Marathon would only say it “encountered a zone of interest” with the well.

Marathon signed gas supply agreements with Enstar Natural Gas and Chugach Electric Association in 2010 and is asking the federal government for more time to export LNG.

Current exploration focus:

Cook Inlet: Marathon continues to develop its many Cook Inlet gas fields, but recently drilled an exploration well at the Sunrise prospect in the northern Kenai Peninsula.



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