March 9, 2017 / 3:40 PM / 6 months ago

BUZZ-Marathon Oil Corp: To buy Permian basin acreage and exit Canadian oil sands

** U.S. shale exploration company’s shares rise as much as 7.13 pct to $15.93 in early trade - biggest intraday pct gain in nearly 3 months

** Company on Wednesday agreed to sell its Canadian subsidiary, which includes 20 pct non-operated interest in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, to Royal Dutch Shell and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd for $2.5 bln in cash

** Our interest in Canadian oil sands has represented about 1/3 of our company’s other operating and production expenses, yet only about 12 pct of our production vol - CEO Lee Tillman

** Company says exiting the oil sands to cut expenses by about 1/4 in 2017

** Also says would buy about 70,000 net surface acres in the oil-rich Permian basin from BC Operating Inc and other entities for $1.1 bln in cash

** Up to Wednesday’s close, stock had risen about 47 pct in the past 12 months

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