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Marathon Oil to sell off $950M of assets, will leave Wyoming entirely

Lookingto firm up its balance sheet, the Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp. has signed agreements to sell approximately$950 million of what it has deemed noncore assets.

The companysaid in a statement April 11 that the divestitures include all of its upstream andmidstream assets in Wyoming, which are being sold for about $870 million.

"Theupstream properties, comprised primarily of waterflood developments in the Big Hornand Wind River basins, averaged 16,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day in firstquarter 2016," Marathon said. "The assets sold also include the Red Buttepipeline, a 570-mile pipeline that is the only export line in the area. The effectivedate of this transaction is Jan. 1, 2016, and closing is expected mid-year 2016."

The companyalso reached agreements to sell its 10% stake in the Shenandoah play in the Gulfof Mexico, its natural gas assets in the Piceance Basin of Colorado and undevelopedacreage in West Texas for a total of $80 million.

Marathondid not disclose the identities of the buyers.

"SinceAugust 2015, we have now announced or closed non-core asset sales of approximately$1.3 billion, surpassing our targeted range of $750 million to $1 billion,"Marathon Oil President and CEO Lee Tillman said in the statement. "Ongoingportfolio management continues to drive the simplification and concentration ofour portfolio to lower risk, higher return U.S. resource plays and support our 2016objective of balance sheet protection."

Marathonshares were down 7 cents, to $13.05 per share, in midafternoon trading April 13.