Marathon Oil

Last updated
Marathon Oil Corporation
Traded as NYSE:  MRO
S&P 500 Component
Industry Petroleum industry
PredecessorThe Ohio Oil Company, U.S. Steel
Founded1887 (1887)
Headquarters Marathon Oil Tower
Houston, Texas, United States
Key people
Lee M. Tillman, President & CEO [1]
Products Petroleum
Natural gas
Production output
438 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (2,680,000 GJ) per day [1]
RevenueDecrease2.svg US$ 5.522 billion (2015) [1]
Decrease2.svg US$ -3.03 billion (2015) [1]
Decrease2.svg US$ -2.204 billion (2015) [1]
Total assets Decrease2.svg US$ 32.311 billion (2015) [1]
Total equity Decrease2.svg US$ 18.553 billion (2015) [1]
Number of employees
2,300 [2]  (2017)
Marathon Oil Tower, the headquarters of Marathon Oil MarathonOilTowerHoustonTX.JPG
Marathon Oil Tower, the headquarters of Marathon Oil

Marathon Oil Corporation, usually simply referred to as Marathon Oil, is an American petroleum and natural gas exploration and production company headquartered in the Marathon Oil Tower in Houston, Texas.

Petroleum naturally occurring flammable liquid

Petroleum is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separated using a technique called fractional distillation, i.e. separation of a liquid mixture into fractions differing in boiling point by means of distillation, typically using a fractionating column.

Natural gas fossil fuel

Natural gas, also called "Fossil Gas" is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium. It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years. The energy that the plants originally obtained from the sun is stored in the form of chemical bonds in the gas.

Marathon Oil Tower skyscraper in Houston, Texas

Marathon Oil Tower is a skyscraper in Uptown Houston. The building rises 562 feet (171 m) in height. It contains 41 floors, and was completed in 1983 and construction only took 22 months. First City Tower currently stands as the 20th-tallest building in the city. The architectural firm who designed the building was Pierce Goodwin Alexander & Linville.


Current operations

As of December 31, 2015, the company had 2.163  billion barrels of oil equivalent (1.323×1010 GJ) of estimated proved reserves, of which 44% was in the United States, 32% was in Canada, 12% was in Equatorial Guinea, and 11% was in other countries in Africa, primarily Libya.

The barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) is a unit of energy based on the approximate energy released by burning one barrel of crude oil. The BOE is used by oil and gas companies in their financial statements as a way of combining oil and natural gas reserves and production into a single measure, although this energy equivalence does not take into account the lower financial value of energy in the form of gas.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, with 70% of citizens residing within 100 kilometres of the US border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.

The company has concessions with the Waha Oil Company in Libya. Libya accounts for 235 million barrels of oil equivalent (1.44×109 GJ) of estimated proved reserves, although the company did not sell any product from these operations in 2015 since operations were interrupted by civil and political unrest. [1]

Waha Oil Company is an oil company based in Tripoli, Libya, engaged in the fields of crude oil and natural gas exploration and production.

Libya Country in north Africa

Libya, officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west, and Tunisia to the northwest. The sovereign state is made of three historical regions: Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres (700,000 sq mi), Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, and is the 16th largest country in the world. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world. The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over one million of Libya's six million people. The second-largest city is Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya.

In Canada, the company was focused on the Athabasca oil sands project, in which the company owned a 20% interest. [1]

Athabasca oil sands

The Athabasca oil sands are large deposits of bitumen or extremely heavy crude oil, located in northeastern Alberta, Canada – roughly centred on the boomtown of Fort McMurray. These oil sands, hosted primarily in the McMurray Formation, consist of a mixture of crude bitumen, silica sand, clay minerals, and water. The Athabasca deposit is the largest known reservoir of crude bitumen in the world and the largest of three major oil sands deposits in Alberta, along with the nearby Peace River and Cold Lake deposits.

The company's proved reserves consisted 40% of petroleum, 32% synthetic crude, 19% natural gas and 9% natural gas liquids. [1]

Synthetic crude is the output from a bitumen/extra heavy oil upgrader facility used in connection with oil sand production. It may also refer to shale oil, an output from an oil shale pyrolysis. The properties of the synthetic crude depend on the processes used in the upgrading. Typically, it is low in sulfur and has an API gravity of around 30. It is also known as "upgraded crude".

In 2015, the company sold 438 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (2,680,000 GJ) per day. [1]

In 2015, the company derived 13% of its revenues from sales to Irving Oil and 11% of its revenues from sales to Shell Oil. [1]

In 2016, the company plans to spend $1.4 billion on capital expenditures, of which $1.2 billion will be spent in North America, including $600 million in the Eagle Ford and $200 million in the Bakken formation. [1]

The company owns 277,000 net acres in the Bakken formation. [1]


Marathon began as The Ohio Oil Company in 1887. In 1889, it was purchased by John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil. It remained a part of Standard Oil until Standard Oil was broken up in 1911. In 1930, The Ohio Oil Company bought the Transcontinental Oil Company and established the "Marathon" brand name. In 1962, the company changed its name to "Marathon Oil Company".

In 1982, Mobil made a hostile offer to buy the company; however, the board of Marathon Oil rejected the offer and instead sold the company to United States Steel. A legal battle ensued thereafter. [3]

After the merger, the headquarters was moved to Houston, Texas in 1990 but the company's refining subsidiary maintained its headquarters in Findlay, Ohio.

In 1984, Marathon purchased the U.S. unit of Husky Energy for $505 million. [4]

In 1998, Marathon and Ashland, Inc. contributed their refining operations to Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC, now Marathon Petroleum. [5]

In 2001, USX, the holding company that owned United States Steel and Marathon, spun off the steel business and, in 2002, USX renamed itself Marathon Oil Corporation. [6]

In 2003, Marathon sold its Canadian operations to Husky Energy. [7]

In 2003, the company sold its interest in the Yates Oil Field to Kinder Morgan for approximately $225 million. [8]

In late 2003, Marathon Oil and its partners Noble Energy and AMPCO started the Bioko Island Malaria Control Project (BIMCP) in Equatorial Guinea. Malaria control activities included indoor residual spraying, improved diagnosis and case management, and capacity building to contain future outbreaks. BIMCP had proven being successful in reducing malaria transmission, reducing the proportion of children with malaria parasites, and improving iron status. BIMCP is perceived as a model of hands-on corporate involvement in a humanitarian effort with government, non-profits and academic organizations to reduce the burden of malaria in countries located in Equatorial Africa. [9] The president of Equatorial Guinea, Obiang Nguema, is one of the world's worst dictators, according to Parade Magazine. Marathon's humanitarian efforts have mitigated some of the criticism resulting from its dealings with Nguema's regime. In 2008, Marathon Oil and Lestis Private Capital Group started the Central Basin Control Project (CBCP) [10]

In 2007, Marathon acquired Western Oil Sands for $6.6 billion and gained ownership of its 20 percent stake in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project in northern Alberta and other assets in the midwestern United States. The Athabasca project's Muskeg River Mine was producing approximately 155,000 barrels a day of bitumen at the time. [11]

In 2011, Marathon completed the corporate spin-off of Marathon Petroleum, distributing a 100% interest to its shareholders. [12]

In June 2013, Marathon sold its Angolan oil and gas field to Sinopec for $1.52 billion. [13]

In September 2013, Marathon announced it would sell a 10% stake in an oil and gas field offshore Angola for around $590 million to Sonangol Group. [14]

In June 2014, Marathon Oil Norge AS (“Marathon Norway") was acquired by Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA for US$2.1 billon. [15]

See also

Related Research Articles

Economy of Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea is a small nation of 1.2 million located on the west coast of Central Africa which gained independence from Spain in 1968. Thanks to the discovery and exploitation of significant oil reserves in the 1990s, it enjoys a purchasing power parity GDP per capita of more than US$38,699 which is as of 2016 the highest in Africa and the 31st highest in the world. However, the country has been ranked only 138th out of 188 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index in 2015. After the oil price collapsed in 2014, the economy has gone into a free for all which has put growth in a downwards spiral from around 15% to −10%.

Oil sands Type of unconventional oil deposit

Oil sands, also known as tar sands or crude bitumen, or more technically bituminous sands, are a type of unconventional petroleum deposit. Oil sands are either loose sands or partially consolidated sandstone containing a naturally occurring mixture of sand, clay, and water, saturated with a dense and extremely viscous form of petroleum technically referred to as bitumen.

Occidental Petroleum

Occidental Petroleum Corporation is a company engaged in hydrocarbon exploration in the United States, the Middle East, and Colombia as well as petrochemical manufacturing in the United States, Canada, and Chile. It is organized in Delaware and headquartered in Houston. The company is ranked 722nd on the Forbes Global 2000 and 220th on the Fortune 500.

Sinopec Chinese oil and gas company

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (中国石油化工股份有限公司), or Sinopec, is a Chinese oil and gas enterprise based in Beijing, China. It is listed in Hong Kong and also trades in Shanghai and New York.

Suncor Energy company

Suncor Energy is a Canadian integrated energy company based in Calgary, Alberta. It specializes in production of synthetic crude from oil sands. Suncor ranks number 134 in the Forbes Global 2000 list.

Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. — Petrobras, more commonly known as simply Petrobras, is a semi-public Brazilian multinational corporation in the petroleum industry headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The company's name translates to Brazilian Petroleum Corporation — Petrobras.

Sonangol Group company

Group Sonangol is a parastatal that oversees petroleum and natural gas production in Angola. The group consists of Sonangol E.P. and its many subsidiaries. The subsidiaries generally have Sonangol E.P. as a primary client, along with other corporate, commercial and individual clients. Angola is estimated to have over 5 billion barrels (790,000,000 m3) of offshore and coastal petroleum reserves, and new discoveries are outpacing consumption by a 5 to 1 ratio.


Syncrude Canada Ltd. is one of the world's largest producers of synthetic crude oil from oil sands and the largest single source producer in Canada. It is located just outside Fort McMurray in the Athabasca Oil Sands, and has a nameplate capacity of 350,000 barrels per day (56,000 m3/d) of oil, equivalent to about 13% of Canada's consumption. It has approximately 5.1 billion barrels (810,000,000 m3) of proven and probable reserves situated on 8 leases over 3 contiguous sites. Including fully realized prospective reserves, current production capacity could be sustained for well over 90 years.

Murphy Oil company

Murphy Oil Corporation is a petroleum and natural gas exploration company headquartered in El Dorado, Arkansas. The company also has operating offices in Houston, Texas, Calgary, Alberta, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Petroleum industry in Canada

Petroleum production in Canada is a major industry which is important to the economy of North America. Canada has the third largest oil reserves in the world and is the world's seventh largest oil producer and fifth largest oil exporter. In 2015 it produced an average of 621,610 cubic metres per day (3.9 Mbbl/d) of crude oil and equivalent. Of that amount, 61% was upgraded and non-upgraded bitumen from oil sands, and the remainder light crude oil, heavy crude oil and natural-gas condensate. Most of Canadian petroleum production is exported, approximately 482,525 cubic metres per day (3 Mbbl/d) in 2015, with almost all of the exports going to the United States. Canada is by far the largest single source of oil imports to the United States, providing 43% of US crude oil imports in 2015.

EOG Resources American oil and natural gas company

EOG Resources, Inc. is a company engaged in hydrocarbon exploration. It is organized in Delaware and headquartered in the Heritage Plaza building in Houston, Texas.

This is an overview of Equinor's operations in various countries. Equinor is a Norwegian petroleum company.

Sonagas The Equatorial Guinean national natural gas company.

Sonagas is the Equatorial Guinean national natural gas company. It was formed in 2005. It operates in conjunction with GEPetrol, the nation's principal petroleum company, and EG LNG, the nation's liquid natural gas company, to manage the nation's fossil fuel resources.

Canada's oil sands and heavy oil resources are among the world's great petroleum deposits. They include the vast oil sands of northern Alberta, and the heavy oil reservoirs that surround the small city of Lloydminster, which sits on the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan. The extent of these resources is well known, but better technologies to produce oil from them are still being developed.


EG LNG is a liquefied natural gas (LNG) company that operates an LNG terminal and plant at Malabo, the capital city of Equatorial Guinea located on Bioko Island. The LNG plant began operation in 2007 and the first cargo of LNG was delivered on 24 May 2007.

Energy in Equatorial Guinea is an industry with plenty of potential, especially in the fields of oil and natural gas.

Clarence P. Cazalot Jr. was president and chief executive of the Houston-based Marathon Oil Corporation. Since he took over control of the company in 2002, Marathon has expanded abroad with investments in the nascent gas industry of Equatorial Guinea and oil in Gabon, Libya and Norway. Its upstream earnings from overseas projects have been tripled and Marathon is beginning to sell off the smaller assets.

Although there are numerous oil companies operating in Canada, the majority of production, refining and marketing is done by fewer than 20 of them. According to the 2013 edition of Forbes Global 2000, and any other list that emphasizes market capitalization and revenue when sizing up companies, as of March 31, 2014 these are the largest Canada-based oil and gas companies. However more recent changes, possibly mergers or a stronger showing in the price of oil could mean a few of the oil sands producers are underrepresented; this is because Canadian companies are increasingly dependent on production from that source, which is hurt severely when oil prices decline below 50 to 60 dollars a barrel since costs per barrel traditionally exceed $28 and non-upgraded bitumen produces 1.7 fewer barrels per metric ton than West Texas Intermediate oil. A few of the larger companies don't show up in the Forbes list because its ranking system takes many different factors into account. Syncrude and Irving Oil are also leaders in the Canadian industry, with Syncrude being the top producer of oil sands crude and Irving Oil operating the largest oil refinery in the country. Also, based on the price paid for a 9% share in Syncrude Canada Ltd by Sinopec the company could be worth as much as US$50 billion. Canadian oil company profits quickly recovered from the financial crisis; In 2009 they were down 90% but in 2010 they reached $8.4 billion; Helping profits is the smaller price gap between West Texas Intermediate oil ($85/bbl) and Western Canadian heavy crude ($65/bbl) with the price of upgraded synthetic oil surpassing WTI when supply falls. The two largest are 2 of the 11 most valuable Canadian companies. 2,412 oil and gas companies are based in Calgary, Alberta alone.

Addax Petroleum Oil and gas exploration and production company belonging to the Sinopec Group.

Addax Petroleum was established in 1994 and since August 2009 has been a subsidiary of the Sinopec Group, one of the largest oil and gas producers in China, the biggest oil refiner in Asia and the third largest worldwide. Addax Petroleum was an international gas and oil production and exploration company mainly focused on the Middle East, the North Sea and Africa. Since 1994, the company become one of the largest oil producers in West Africa.

Canadian Natural Resources company

Canadian Natural Resources Limited, or CNRL or Canadian Natural, is a Canadian oil and gas exploration, development and production company, with its corporate head office in Calgary, Alberta. Along with its core area Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB), CNRL also has North Sea and offshore West Africa fields. As of December 31, 2017, the company’s gross proved crude oil, bitumen, SCO, and NGLs reserves totaled 7,742 million barrels and proved natural gas reserves totaled 6,771 billion cubic feet. By 2018 CNRL ranked number 321 on the Forbes Global 2000 list.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 "10-K". Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  2. "Marathon Oil". Fortune. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  3. "Mobil Corp. v. Marathon Oil Co.: Tender Offeror's Right to Injunctive Relief Recognized". Pace Law Review. April 1983.
  4. SALPUKAS, AGIS (March 30, 1984). "MARATHON WILL BUY HUSKY UNIT". New York Times .
  5. Breed, Alan G. (May 16, 1997). "Ashland, Marathon Announce Alliance". Kentucky New Era .
  6. "United States Steel Corporation Form S-4, September 7, 2001" . Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  7. "Husky snaps up Marathon assets". The Globe and Mail . August 21, 2003.
  8. "Marathon to Sell Interest in Yates Field to Kinder Morgan Energy Partners". PRNewswire. October 30, 2003.
  9. "Investor Relations - Marathon Oil Corporation". Marathon Oil. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  10. "More of the World's Worst Dictators". Parade Magazine. March 22, 2009.
  11. "Marathon to buy Western Oil Sands for $6.5B". CBC News. July 31, 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  12. "Marathon spin-off gives Ohio fifth largest refiner". Associated Press via Yahoo! Finance. June 30, 2011.
  13. China's Sinopec buys Marathon's Angola oil fields for $1.52 billion, Reuters, June 23, 2013
  14. Marathon Oil to sell stake in Angolan field for $590 million, Reuters, September 10, 2013
  15. Det norske acquires Marathon Oil Norge AS, June 2, 2014