Marathon Oil Sells Norwegian Business to Focus on U.S. Assets

Marathon Oil Eagle Ford Acreage
Marathon Oil Eagle Ford Acreage

Houston-based Marathon Oil Corporation announced in June of 2014 that it is selling its Norway business for $2.7 billion to re-focus capital investments in the Eagle Ford Shale and other U.S. domestic assets.

The buyer, Norwegian-based Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA, will take on ~700-million of Marathon's debt from the deal, leaving Marathon with approximately $2.1 billion in proceeds at closing.

According to Marathon CEO Lee M. Tillman, the company is focused on simplifying and concentrating its business, with a primary focus on its U.S. resource plays, including the Eagle Ford. This divestiture is one of several deals Marathon has made in the past few years. Since 2011, the company has divested $6.2 billion in assets.

Marathon Oil has a deep inventory across three high-quality U.S. resource plays with expanding opportunities to further accelerate activity. Such organic growth will be our first priority for additional capital allocation.
— Lee M. Tillman

Currently, Marathon has 211,000 net Eagle Ford acres. During the first-quarter of 2014, the company averaged 96,000 net boe/d, which was an increase of 7% over the previous quarter.


Clayton Williams Falls Short of First-Quarter 2014 Production Estimate

Clayton Williams Eagle Ford Acreage Map
Clayton Williams Eagle Ford Acreage Map

Clayton Williams production, revenues and operating costs for the first-quarter of 2014 were down compared to the first-quarter of 2013, after two significant divestitures over the course of the last year. Overall production was 250 boe/d below analyst estimates for the first-quarter of 2014 according to company officials.

In March 2014, Clayton Williams sold all of its interests in certain non-core Austin Chalk and Eagle Ford assets. Due to the divestiture, production for the sold assets in the first-quarter of 2014 went down 47% compared to the first-quarter of 2013. Daily production for the sold assetsin the first-quarter of 2014 was 385 boe/d.

Read more: Clayton Williams Sells Eagle Ford and Austin Chalk Acreage for $71 Million

Across the company's portfolio, production costs decreased 16% to $26.4 million in the first-quarter, compared to the first-quarter of last year. Company officials attributed this decrease primarily to another acreage asset divestiture in the company's Andrews County Wolfberry Play in April 2013.

In Reeves and Burleson Counties in Texas, two wells experienced drilling and completion complications, which company officials say accounted for production delays of 400 boe/d.

After giving affect to asset sales, Clayton Williams saw a total production increase per BOE of 25% across its' portfolio in the first-quarter of 2014 compared to the first-quarter of 2013. Oil and NGL production increased to 2,756 b/d and 378 b/d consecutively. Gas production decreased 455 Mcf/d.

Clayton Williams Eagle Ford Operations Update

Clayton Williams continues to see consistent results from its horizontal Eagle Ford Shale play in the northern portion of its legacy Austin Chalk acreage block in Robertson, Burleson and Lee Counties, Texas. The Company has nine horizontal Eagle Ford wells in this area that have been on production for 30 or more days. The peak 30-day production rate for these wells has averaged 574 BOE per day (96% oil).

Clayton Williams' First Quarter Highlights

  •  Overall Q1 production down 250 boe/d from analyst estimates
  •  47% production decrease in divested Austin Chalk and Eagle Ford assets in Q1 2014 compared to Q1 2013
  • Q1 drilling and completion complications in Reeves and Burleson Counties in Texas accounted for production delays of 400 boe/d
  • Oil and NGL production increased to 2,756 b/d and 378 b/d consecutively across portfolio in Q1 2014
  • Gas production decreased 455 Mcf/d in Q1 2014


Murphy Oil's Eagle Ford Production Grows to 39,000 boe/d in 2013

Murphy Eagle Ford Production
Murphy Eagle Ford Production

In 2013, Murphy Oil originally planned Eagle Ford production of ~30,000 boe/d, but the company blew through that goal and produced an average of 39,000 boe/d for the year.

Also read:Murphy Oil's Eagle Ford Production Hits Milestone

Murphy's fourth quarter total oil production rose from 132,918 b/d in 2012 to 139,660 b/d in 2013 or an increase of 5%. The Eagle Ford was the primary contributor to oil production growth.

The company's average oil production was 135,078 b/d in 2013, an increase of ~20% compared to the 2012 level of 112,591 b/d.

In 2013, we continued to grow production led by our onshore Eagle Ford Shale operation, where total production averaged 39,000 net barrels of oil equivalent per day for the year.
— Murphy's President, Roger Jenkins

With oil production growth of 20%, it's easy to see the significant impact oil plays like the Eagle Ford.

Murphy Oil at a Glance in 2013

  • Significant Production Growth in Eagle Ford in 2013
  • 39,000 net boe/d in Eagle Ford in 2013
  • ~5% Q4 oil production increase to 139,660 b/d
  • ~20% total year oil production increase to 135,078 b/d

Murphy Oil's Eagle Ford Production in 2013

Murphy has outperformed in the Eagle Ford. At the beginning of 2013, the company had a target of 30,000 boe/d in the formation.

The company's Eagle Ford production in 2013 well surpassed its goal, hitting 39,000 boe/d. That's 30% higher than the company planned.

Murphy now expects to surpass 60,000 boe/d at some point in 2015.


Ice Storm Hits the Eagle Ford

Ice Storms Hitting South Texas
Ice Storms Hitting South Texas

Frigid temperatures could have an impact on operations in the Eagle Ford as the mercury hovers below the freezing mark for most of Friday morning. The wintry mix began hitting the counties covering the Eagle Ford formation late on Thursday night.

Due to the adverse weather conditions, non-critical work may be delayed and completions could be postponed. Black ice and slippery roads will also likely impact efficiency for logistical operations across the Eagle Ford.

Although the weather may be a burden to operations in South Texas, the industry is no stranger to cold weather. Workers in the Bakken oilfield have experienced crippling conditions due to dramatically cold temperatures throughout the winter.

Freeze offs from the cold weather will likely have a larger impact further north where temperatures have dipped much further below freezing.

Weekend temperatures in South Texas will be back into the high 60's and 70's, so interruptions should be temporary

For more on the weather in South Texas this Friday, visit