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Marathon Oil Plans to Sell as Much as $3 Billion in Assets

Marathon Oil Corp., the energy producer that spun off its refining business in June, plans to sell up to $3 billion in assets during the next two to three years and increase its holdings in U.S. shale formations.

Marathon is selling “non-core assets” such as pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico and negotiating acquisitions that will more than double its exploration acreage in Texas’s Eagle Ford Shale formation to 300,000 acres by the end of next month, the Houston-based company said today in a statement.

The Eagle Ford, along with other U.S. shale formations such as the Bakken in North Dakota and Woodford in Texas, will provide most of the company’s growth through 2016, Marathon said. The company completed its $3.5 billion purchase of Eagle Ford-explorer Hilcorp Resources LP’s assets today.

Marathon expects onshore production in the continental U.S. to reach the equivalent of 120,000 barrels to 130,000 barrels a day during the current quarter, which would represent an increase of as much as 73 percent compared with the third quarter, according to the statement.

The company boosted its full-year worldwide production target today to the equivalent of 360,000 barrels to 365,000 barrels a day from an August estimate of 350,000 barrels to 360,000 barrels. In 2012, output is slated to rise 5 percent, the company said in the statement.

Marathon fell 2.5 percent to close at $25.38 in New York.

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