By Melodie Warner
Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO) is increasing its capital, investment and exploration budget to $5.2 billion in 2013 and said about 65% of the spending will go towards its liquids-rich growth assets.
Last year, Marathon Oil spun off its downstream and petroleum assets, creating Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC), in a bid to focus its drilling efforts on unconventional U.S. oil shales, like the Bakken in North Dakota, Anadarko Woodford in Oklahoma and Eagle Ford in Texas.
The exploration and production company had set its 2012 capital budget at roughly $4.82 billion and designated nearly half of it for the ramping up of operations in the Eagle Ford shale, a promising natural-gas and oil-bearing rock formation.
Marathon Oil said Tuesday about one-third of the 2013 budget, or $1.9 billion, will be allocated to the Eagle Ford shale play. About $1.1 billion will go towards base assets across North America, Africa and Europe, including oil-sands mining.
The company also plans to participate in drilling 10 to 13 impact exploration wells in what it calls "some of the most prospective basins in the world."
Marathon Oil expects the added activity in liquids-rich U.S. resource plays to increase total production 6% to 8% year-over-year.
The company reported last month its third-quarter earnings rose 11% as strong production both internationally and in the U.S. helped boost revenue 9.5%.
Shares were down 0.5% at $30.63 in recent trading.
Write to Melodie Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org
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