Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp. plans to develop more acreage in the Permian Basin and is considering bolt-on acquisitions, management said during a recent call to discuss second quarter results. 

Marathon has assets in the Permian and Anadarko basins, as well as the Eagle Ford and Bakken shales, and in the Austin Chalk.

“I think we've been pretty consistent with our messaging around our focus in the Permian, which is kind of strategically pacing our investments to both delineate the position and move into development in areas like Malaga, where we've reported...on the Upper Wolfcamp,” said Executive Vice President Mitch Little, who oversees operations.

Malaga in the New Mexico portion of the Permian has been a focus for Marathon, alongside the Red Hills field. The company brought 16 gross operated wells to sales during the quarter, which were a mix of development and delineation wells in the Malaga and Red Hills areas.

In addition to new well development, Marathon also is looking for Permian bolt-ons.

“It's also looking at smaller accretive bolt-ons that fit within our kind of core basins as well as trades, even lease sales like we participated in, in New Mexico last year,” said CEO Lee Tillman.

Marathon has directed about 60% of its capital spending to the end of the year between the Eagle Ford and the Bakken, with 40% for the northern Delaware sub-basin of the Permian and the Anadarko, said Tillman.

In Oklahoma, Marathon is looking to develop more oil-rich parts of the STACK, aka the Sooner Trend of the Anadarko Basin, mostly in Canadian and Kingfisher counties, and the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province, or SCOOP

“Our original Oklahoma program was really designed to concentrate activity in the oilier parts of both the STACK and the SCOOP because those offer the advantage of more competitive returns,” Tillman said.

Total net production in 2Q2019 was 435 million boe/d, up by 12% year/year. While the company operates assets offshore Equatorial Guinea, U.S. production accounted for the bulk of the quarter’s volumes at 332 million boed/d in the quarter, also up by 12% year/year.

Net income in the second quarter was $161 million (20 cents/share), versus year-ago net profits of $96 million (11 cents). Full-year capital expenditures remain unchanged at $2.4 billion.