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Marathon Oil Joins Tullow With Stake in Ethiopian License

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Marathon Oil Corp. followed up on its entry into East Africa in July by purchasing a stake in an Ethiopian license operated by Tullow Oil Plc.

Marathon will pay $40 million to Agriterra Ltd., an agricultural company focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, for a 20 percent stake in the South Omo Block. A further $10 million will be paid in the event of a “commercial discovery,” Maputo, Mozambique-based Agriterra said today in a statement.

Marathon, based in Houston, secured interests in two exploration blocks in Kenya following an agreement with Africa Oil Corp. over the summer. The two agreed to pursue joint exploration opportunities in Ethiopia at the time. Africa Oil holds 30 percent in the block.

“Completion of the agreement is conditional on the consent of the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines,” after Tullow and Africa Oil waived pre-emption rights, Agriterra said.

Agriterra slumped the most since November 2008 in London, tumbling 25 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduard Gismatullin in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at

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