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USX-MARATHON GROUP INCREASES CAPITAL/EXPLORATION BUDGET BY 31 PERCENT

USX-MARATHON GROUP INCREASES CAPITAL/EXPLORATION BUDGET BY 31 PERCENT
 HOUSTON, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- USX Corporation (NYSE: X) has approved a 1992 Marathon Group capital and exploration expenditure budget of approximately $1.44 billion, a 31 percent increase over actual 1991 spending of about $1.1 billion, Victor G. Beghini, vice chairman-Energy of USX and president of Marathon Oil Company, announced today.
 The $1.27 billion capital program includes $760 million directed to production spending; refining, marketing and transportation activity will account for $480 million; other planned capital expenditures, including those related to the gas gathering and processing business, amount to $30 million.
 Upstream capital spending plans include $540 million earmarked for international activity, with $370 million directed to the development of the East Brae Field in the United Kingdom North Sea and the related SAGE pipeline system.
 The worldwide exploration budget amounts to $170 million, with $100 million proposed for international activities.
 "While our exploration success overseas, along with the acquisition of major concessions, is contributing to our shift in focus," Beghini noted that "increased overseas spending is also driven by a series of negative factors. We are being attracted overseas by improving tax regimes and concession terms, at a time when the domestic industry is faced with an uncertain legislative/regulatory future. The failure of our government to open up the most promising domestic acreage, both offshore and in Alaska, is forcing us to look overseas for new opportunities."
 Beghini stated that Marathon's 1991 reserve replacement was at 91 percent on an equivalent barrel basis; however, the company has continued to achieve its target of replacing 100 percent of production on a rolling three-year basis. "Our record over the past three years is 135 percent. This reflects our exploration success in recent years, and is obviously a major factor in our increasing upstream investment profile."
 In reaction to one of the major challenges facing the industry, the Marathon Group is allocating some 20 percent of its capital program, or $273 million, to environmental-related expenditures. That amount compares to $102 million spent in 1991. Most of these monies will be dedicated to construction of facilities at Marathon refineries to meet low-sulfur diesel requirements imposed by federal regulations.
 Construction of two LNG tankers, scheduled to enter service in 1993, represents another major area of downstream capital spending.
 Beghini emphasized that the company's plans would remain responsive to conditions impacting the industry, and that Marathon would tailor expenditures to the economic climate.
 /delval/
 -0- 2/3/92
 /CONTACT: William P. Ryder of USX Corporation, 412-433-6880/
 (X) CO: USX Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: OIL SU:


CD -- PG008 -- 6317 02/03/92 16:15 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 3, 1992
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