Marathon Oil Expands Into East Africa With Kenya Exploration

Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO) will expand into East Africa with the acquisition of interests in two Kenyan exploration projects.

Marathon will pay $35 million to Africa Oil Corp. (AOI) for 50 percent in Kenya’s Block 9 and 15 percent in Block 12A, Africa Oil said today in a statement. It will also contribute as much as $43.5 million to Africa Oil’s exploration expenditure over the next three years.

The companies have also “agreed to jointly pursue exploration activities on an additional exploration area in Ethiopia,” Africa Oil said.

Marathon, based in Houston, so far has been active in the West African nations of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Angola. It also has some interests in Libya in North Africa.

At the same time, Tullow Oil Plc (TLW) has increased its stake in Block 12A to 65 percent from the earlier 50 percent share, Africa Oil said, which now holds 20 percent in the venture.

Separately, Africa Oil sold 25 percent in Block 7 and Block 8 in Ethiopia to New Age (African Global Energy) Ltd.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduard Gismatullin in London at egismatullin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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