Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO) said May 2 it captured more than 250,000 net acres in multiple new plays in the last year, including a largely contiguous position in the emerging Louisiana Austin Chalk play at a cost of less than $900 per acre.
The Houston-based company, whose first-quarter earnings beat profit estimates on higher production and oil prices, didn't provide any more details on the additions to its portfolio.
However, President and CEO Lee Tillman noted on an earnings call that the Louisiana Austin Chalk has already gone through a development phase in the late 1990s with early technology designs on the completions side and relatively short lateral lengths as well.
"We see this, as you know, a natural extension of kind of this Austin Chalk megatrend that goes from Mexico across South Texas all the way over to East Louisiana. And having been one of the leaders in the development of the Austin Chalk and South Texas, we think we're well equipped to get in here and appraise and understand the potential of this but I want to stress again that this is exploration," Tillman said.
He added that more information will be disclosed once the company has completed the necessary technical work.