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In October 2010, the Company acquired a position in four exploration blocks totaling approximately 368,000 total net acres (648,000 gross) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. This is one of the last onshore regions with significant resource potential per prospect, offering the potential to establish oil.
In July 2012, Marathon Oil closed on agreements to farmout a portion of its two operated blocks, Harir and Safen, which are located northeast of Erbil. With the transactions, Marathon Oil reduced its stake to a 45 percent working interest in each of the two blocks, with Total receiving a 35 percent working interest. The Company remains operator of the Harir Block and exploration operator of the Safen Block. The Kurdistan Regional Government continues to have a fully carried 20 percent interest in each of the two blocks.
Marathon Oil holds a 15 percent working interest in the Atrush Block and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, PJSC (TAQA) serves as operator (39.9 percent interest). The Kurdistan Regional Government holds a 25 percent interest and General Exploration Partners, Inc. (GEP) holds the remaining 20.1 percent interest. The Company holds a 25 percent working interest in the Sarsang Block, with HKN Energy Ltd. holding a 75 percent interest and serving as operator.
As of year-end 2012, Marathon Oil held approximately 215,000 net acres on a working interest basis (648,000 gross). The Harir Block is approximately 78,000 net acres (174,000 gross), and the Safen Block is approximately 47,000 net acres (105,000 gross). The Atrush Block is approximately 13,000 net acres (66,000 gross), and the Sarsang Block is approximately 76,000 net acres (303,000 gross).