Marathon marks 50 years in Alaska

Posted: Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Marathon Oil Company is celebrating half a century of operations in the 49th state this year and marking five decades of energy development that began in 1954 with the signing of the company's first oil and gas lease agreement on the Kenai Peninsula.

According to a press release, Marathon, previously known as the Ohio Oil Company, filed for leases in the Swanson River area in 1954, which lead to participation in the first major oil discovery in Alaska in 1957. At a recent reception held at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center, John Barnes, Marathon Alaska Production Manager said, "The Swanson River discovery demonstrated the economic viability of developing Alaskan energy resources and paved the way towards statehood. Natural gas introduced in Anchorage by Marathon and other oil and gas companies helped promote the city's development and created a foundation for expansion of the local and regional economy. We are proud to celebrate our 50th year on the last frontier. Alaska is a key element of Marathon's North American operations."

Today, Marathon's Alaska operations are focused almost exclusively on natural gas. Since 1998, the company has drilled 40 gas wells in the Cook Inlet region including several successful exploration wells. During the anniversary year, 11 more wells are planned in seven fields and prospects. Marathon is the largest supplier of natural gas to Enstar, and Chugach Electric Association and remains a major supplier to industrial customers such as Kenai LNG, Agrium, and the Tesoro refinery.

During its half century of operations in Alaska, Marathon has set horizontal drilling records, developed revolutionary well completion techniques, and with their partner ConocoPhillips, established the first and only LNG export facility in the United States. Additionally, Marathon has been acknowledged as a leader in environmental stewardship and sponsored numerous community and charitable events throughout south central Alaska. The celebration of their 50 years in Alaska will continue through the coming year according to Paul Weeditz, Director of Public Affairs for Marathon.

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