Marathon Oil Shifts Focus to U.S. Shale

Noble Q3 2015
Noble Q3 2015

Marathon Oil released its third quarter earnings this week and announced they will focus more of their attention on U.S. shale assets.

Related: Chesapeake Reports Q3 Loss

For the third quarter of 2015 Marathon had adjusted net losses of $138 million as they battle the prolonged downturn.

CEO Lee Tillman expects oil prices will remain low for a quite a while longer, so the company will continue its course of reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Marathon will also move away from conventional oil assets to focus on shale.

Drilling efficiency remained a focus across our U.S. unconventional plays, with our best Eagle Ford rig drilling a well that averaged 3,000 feet per day in the third quarter, similar to the exceptional pacesetter performance in the previous quarter. This performance was achieved while maintaining our geo-steering accuracy to land in the target window 98% of the time.
— Lee Tillman

Production in Marathon's Eagle Ford operations for Q3 averaged 128,000 net boed, a 9% increase above the year-ago quarter and compared to 135,000 net boed in the prior quarter. Other highlights include:

  • Company brought 57 wells to sales, of which 11 were Austin Chalk, six upper Eagle Ford and 40 lower Eagle Ford, compared to 52 wells to sales in the previous quarter.
  • Thirty-day initial production (IP) rates from the six upper Eagle Ford wells ranged from 1,050 to 1,480 net boed (57-76% liquids)
  • Wells drilled at an average rate of 2,000 feet per day, an 11% improvement over the previous quarter.
  • Drill time for an Eagle Ford well spud-to-total depth dropped to 10 days.
  • Company is exceeding its technical objectives with a 98% success rate geo-steering into a typical 25-foot target.