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Marathon inks license deal with Total Gabon

HOUSTON (AP) -- Marathon Oil Corp. said Friday that one of its subsidiaries reached a deal with Total Gabon for a 21.25 percent working, and 25 percent paying, interest in one of its Gabon drilling licenses.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal was effective June 15. The companies expect it to close, subject to Gabonese government and other approvals, in the third quarter, Marathon said.

The Houston-based oil company said the license covers an area of about 5,639 square miles about 31 miles off the southern coast of Gabon in water between 328 and 11,483 feet deep.

In addition to Total Gabon, which operates the area, Marathon said the partners in the license and permit are CIE Gabon Diaba Ltd., an affiliate of Cobalt International Energy, and the government of Gabon.

Exploration drilling at the site is expected to start in the first quarter of 2013.

Marathon shares rose 3 cents to $23.35 in midday trading.