Marubeni Participation in the Niobrara Shale Oil Project

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 06 Apr 2011 10:19
Tags: deals marathon marubeni shale usa

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Marubeni Corporation (“Marubeni”) announced today that Marubeni Denver Julesburg LLC, a U.S. subsidiary of Marubeni, has entered into an agreement with Marathon Oil Corporation (“Marathon”) (NYSE: MRO), a U.S. major oil and natural gas company with which Marubeni has a long-standing relationship over the years as a reliable partner of the Liquefied Natural Gas (“LNG”) project in Equatorial Guinea, on April 4, 2011 to acquire a 30% working interest in the Denver Julesburg Basin Niobrara shale oil play for approximately US$ 270 million, covering 180,000 net acres of oil and gas leases pertaining to this deal located in Colorado and Wyoming.

Marubeni intends to complete the transaction by the end of April 2011 when all conditions precedent to close the transaction are satisfied. In addition, Marubeni and Marathon have agreed to jointly acquire additional acreages in the Niobrara shale oil area, where both companies are aiming for the business expansion.

The Niobrara recently draws the high attention of oil & gas industry as one of the most attractive and promising shale oil resource plays in the U.S. where purchase & sale transaction as well as drilling and production are very active right now. We believe that this project including future expansion and potential new businesses associated with the project will become a solid base for Marubeni providing cash flow and profit in the mid to long term because our acreage position in the Niobrara is believed to be prospective and also Marathon, operator of this project, is the fourth largest U.S.-based integrated international energy company with long history and substantive experiences in the various oil & gas business sectors which include the number of shale oil and gas plays including Bakken, the LNG projects in Alaska and Equatorial Guinea, exploration and production of oil and gas all over the world, and the group company has engaged in refining and marketing of crude oil and petroleum products over the many years.

Marubeni has been seeking an opportunity to participate in the shale oil and gas business in the U.S. since year before last and decided to participate in this project because we believe this project is not only in line with our long-term business strategy but also contributes the recent US energy policy which is aiming to increase domestic crude oil production.

As Marubeni has positioned its energy and mineral resources business including oil and gas exploration and development as a strategically significant business area, it has participated in the projects in Gulf of Mexico (U.S.), North Sea (U.K.), India, and Qatar. We will continue to acquire quality oil and gas assets, including the expansion of our shale oil and gas business into other areas within the U.S. and even other countries leveraging our experience and know how acquired through this project, as the shale oil and gas play is expected to be developing all over the world.

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