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    PETROLIAM Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) subsidiary Star Energy Group has bought the Irish unit of Marathon Oil Corp, the fourth largest US oil company, for US$180 million (RM628 million).

    In a statement, Marathon Oil said it expects the deal for wholly-owned Marathon Oil Ireland Ltd to conclude by the first quarter of next year.

    However, the deal does not include Marathon Oil’s 18.5 per cent interest in the Corrib natural gas development.

    Marathon Oil executive vice president David E Roberts said the sale, along with the sale of non-core assets, is part of Marathon Oil’s global asset review.
    “With the sale of Marathon Oil Ireland, our global asset portfolio review and the resulting sale of non-core assets has generated nearly US$1.2 billion (RM4.2 billion) in cash.

    “We anticipate that this programme will generate some US$2 billion to US$4 billion (RM6.98 billion to RM13.96 billion) in cash by mid-year 2009,” he said.

    Marathon Oil Ireland’s assets include a 100 per cent operated interest in the Kinsale Head Area comprising Kinsale Head, South West Kinsale and the Ballycotton gas fields.

    It also comprises an 86.5 per cent interest in the gas producing Seven Heads field and a 100 per cent interest in the company’s gas storage business with current capacity of seven billion cu ft.

    Current net production from these operations is about 36 million cu ft of natural gas per day.

    Marathon Oil’s total net risked resources associated with these assets as of year-end 2007 were at 62 billion cu f, of which 46.2 billion cu ft or 7.7 million barrels of oil equivalent were proven reserves.

    As part of the deal, Star will retain the 61 Marathon Oil Ireland‘s employees in Ireland.

    Source: Business Times By Kamarul Yunus

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