Houston’s Marathon Oil Corp., another Texas firm with major operations in Oklahoma announced the $3 billion cash acquisition of Ensign Natural Resources.
Here’s what it means to Marathon—130,000 net acres (99% operated, 97% working interest) that span Live Oak, Bee, Karnes, and Dewitt Counties across the condensate, wet gas, and dry gas phase windows of the Eagle Ford. Estimated fourth quarter 2022 oil equivalent production is 67,000 net boed (22,000 net bopd of oil).
“This acquisition in the core of the Eagle Ford satisfies every element of our exacting acquisition criteria, uniquely striking the right balance between immediate cash flow accretion and future development opportunity,” commented CEO Lee Tillman, who also serves as chairman and president of Marathon Oil.
Ensign Natural Resources was headquartered in Houston and created in 2017.
The transaction significantly expands Marathon Oil’s Eagle Ford position through the addition of 130,000 net acres with 97% working interest located primarily in the prolific condensate and wet gas phase windows of the play. Marathon estimates it is acquiring more than 600 undrilled locations, representing an inventory life greater than 15 years, with inventory that immediately competes for capital in the Marathon Oil portfolio.
The acreage is adjacent to Marathon Oil’s existing Eagle Ford position, enabling the Company to further leverage its knowledge, experience, and operating strengths in the Basin, while materially increasing its Basin scale to 290,000 net acres and contributing to optimized supply chain accessibility and cost control in a tight service market.
The acquisition also includes 700 existing wells, most of which were completed before 2015 with early generation completion designs. These existing locations offer upside redevelopment potential, none of which was considered in the Company’s valuation of the asset or inventory count.
Marathon Oil expects to fund the transaction with a combination of cash on hand, borrowings on the company’s revolving credit facility, and new prepayable debt. The Company does not expect the transaction to meaningfully affect its leverage profile, continuing to expect a net debt to EBITDA ratio of less than one3, and coupled with enhanced enterprise scale anticipates positive credit quality implications.