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Marathon oil and gas exploration summary

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Report summary

Following the oil price collapse, Marathon Oil Corporation made a strategic decision to simplify and concentrate its portfolio on lower-cost, higher-margin US resource plays. Its portfolio has undergone deep restructuring, with most conventional, international assets being offloaded, and capital recycled into tight oil acquisitions. Conventional exploration has largely been dropped as a growth option. The company now has exposure to the four leading US tight oil plays – the Eagle Ford, Bakken, Mid-Continent and the Permian – all of which compete for capital following operating performance improvements and cost reductions achieved through the downturn. As the company continues to focus on these plays, its conventional exploration going forwards is effectively limited to fulfilling its commitments, primarily in the US GoM and West Africa. Full details are provided in our report, and all data and analysis can be downloaded in excel and pdf format.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Marathon Oil.xls

    XLS 604.50 KB

  • Document

    Marathon oil and gas exploration summary

    PDF 916.79 KB

  • Document

    Marathon oil and gas exploration summary

    ZIP 1.35 MB

  • Document


    XLS 670.50 KB

Table of contents

    • Basins drilled and all conventional & organic unconventional discoveries 2007-2016
    • Upstream strategy
    • Exploration outlook
    • Evolution of exploration strategy
  • Investment and costs
    • Well data
  • Reserves and resources
    • Production from new field discoveries and organic unconventionals, and as a proportion of all future production
    • Crystallising value through focused exploration followed by asset sales
    • Healthy volume and costs performance
    • Conventional exploration was being maintained, but has now been dropped
    • Marathon becomes (nearly) a pure US unconventionals player

Tables and charts

This report includes 24 images and tables including:


  • Exploration & appraisal spend and reinvestment
  • Exploration & appraisal spend by water depth
  • Exploration & appraisal spend by basin maturity
  • Discovery costs by water depth
  • Volumes discovered by year
  • Volumes discovered by water depth
  • Volumes discovered by country
  • Volumes discovered by basin
  • Executive summary: Image 1
  • Net active exploration acreage by water depth*
  • Net active exploration acreage by country*
  • Exploration wells drilled and spend per well
  • Exploration success rates
  • Production: Image 1
  • Full cycle value creation by year, with uncons
  • Exploration returns by year, with uncons
  • Costs and development value by reserve category
  • Exploration returns by water depth


  • Top 40 discoveries (2007 to 2016)
  • Reserves and resources: Table 2
  • Full-cycle economics
  • Ten year performance summary
  • SWOT grid
  • Gross conventional exploration & appraisal wells by basin and sector

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