As part of a move to review its non-core assets, Texas-based Marathon Oil is to sell its Irish subsidiary to the Star Energy Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), for $180m (£116m).
The companies expect to close the transaction, subject to completion of the necessary administrative processes with Irish authorities, early in the first quarter of 2009.
'With the sale of Marathon Oil Ireland Limited, the resulting sale of non-core assets has generated nearly $1.2bn in cash. We anticipate that this programme will generate $2bn to $4bn in cash by mid-2009,' said David E Roberts Jr, Marathon executive vice president, Upstream.
Marathon Oil Ireland Limited'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, as well as an 86.5 per cent interest in the gas-producing Seven Heads field, plus a 100 per cent interest in the company's gas storage business. Current net production from these operations is approximately 36 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
As part of the deal, Star Energy will retain the 61 Marathon Oil Ireland Limited employees in Ireland.
Marathon is the fourth largest US-based integrated oil company and its fifth largest refiner.