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Marathon's £1.25bn deal to sell Norwegian business

MARATHON Oil Corporation has taken its UK North Sea assets off the market after striking a deal worth around £1.25 billion to sell its Norwegian business.

lee TILLMAN: Marathon Oil's president and chief executive.
lee TILLMAN: Marathon Oil's president and chief executive.

It said it did not receive any "acceptable" offer for its UK arm, which has its head office in Aberdeen and includes pipelines, the Brae Complex and the west of Shetland Foinaven field.

Lee Tillman, Marathon Oil's president and chief executive, said: "From the beginning of this marketing process, we stated we would only sell our UK North Sea business if we received an offer that appropriately valued these assets

"We have an outstanding team in the UK, and I'm proud of their continued contributions during this marketing period.

"Moving forward, I have confidence they will continue to drive value for the Company."

The UK and Norwegian businesses were put up for sale in December last year as Marathon, which has its group headquarters in Houston, Texas and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, looked to raise additional funds for its shale operations in the United States.

Now Det Norske is taking on the Norwegian subsidiary, Marathon Oil Norge, which has a floating production, storage and offloading vessel as well as 10 operated licences and some non-operated licences.

Net production in Norway for 2013 was 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The companies expect the deal to formally close towards the end of this year if regulatory approvals are received.

Mr Tillman indicated some of the proceeds are likely to be invested in its US business although he did not rule out repurchasing some of its shares.

He said: "Such organic growth will be our first priority for additional capital allocation."

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