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Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO)

- NYSE
  • Wed, Apr. 22, 6:53 PM
    • Nomura came out bullish today on the energy E&P sector - issuing Buy ratings for MRO, PXD, EOG, CLR, APC, NFX, RRC, CNQ, CXO, ECA and SU - even as the firm does not foresee a V-shaped rebound in crude oil prices.
    • Nomura believes core North American shale plays do not represent the economic marginal cost of supply in the world, which runs counter to commonly held views that largely see shale occupying the high end of the cost curve; thus as oil rebounds, so will investment in the shales, which should support prices, the firm says.
    • In such an environment, Nomura says selecting stocks will depend on factors such as ”the reinvestment opportunity set, impact of oilfield technology, continued efficiencies, potential new geologic plays, management acumen and balance sheet strength."
    • The firm is Neutral on DVN, HES, MUR, OAS, UPL, WLL, XEC, COG, COP and SWN; it rates NBL, APA, DNR, CHK and CVE as Reduce.
    | 7 Comments
  • Mon, Apr. 20, 10:58 AM
    • Marathon Oil (MRO +2.3%) is upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $37 price target, raised from $25, at Morgan Stanley, as shares currently trade at a discount to peers despite the company's above average production.
    • MRO has significantly lagged in the 2015 recovery in the E&P segment, and the firm says its discounted valuation has been traditionally justified by the company's shorter than peer inventory life, but the oil price driven pullback in activity has narrowed the gap.
    • Stanley says MRO's downspacing efforts and enhanced completion are expected to provide a steady stream of catalysts in the near to medium term, leading to an increased NAV of $56/share.
    | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Apr. 10, 11:26 AM
    • Credit Suisse adds four companies to its U.S. Focus List, led by Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN), which it sees as a pure-play energy stock that investors can feel comfortable holding for the long-term and is not pegged to the oil markets.
    • The firm also likes DVN's defensive valuation, top quartile oil growth profile and further accretion possibilities from the EnLink Midstream assets; its $80 stock price target is among the Street's best outlook.
    • Credit Suisse cites another energy choice, Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), for its higher multiple businesses, and believes upstream cash margins have room to move up as shale production increases and oil prices recover.
    • Also added to the U.S. Focus List: JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN).
    • Earlier: Dunkin' Brands tapped by Credit Suisse for new highs
    | 3 Comments
  • Tue, Apr. 7, 5:38 PM
    • Eni (NYSE:E) has emerged in recent weeks as the only international oil company still pumping near capacity in war-torn Libya, helped by protection from militias and tribes secured by its local partners, WSJ reports.
    • The security risks have crippled the efforts of rival oil companies such as Total (NYSE:TOT), Repsol (OTCQX:REPYY, OTCPK:REPYF) and Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), which have said they have suspended production onshore in the country.
    • Eni is the largest western producer in Africa, and its relationships there have helped it produce 240K boe/day in Libya last year and 300K boe/day in early 2015, by far the most of any company in the country.
    • Eni says it has no agreements with any militias in Libya.
    | 8 Comments
  • Tue, Apr. 7, 12:59 PM
    • Peabody Energy (BTU +7.3%) spikes higher after Balyasny Asset Management's Christian Zann tells CNBC he likes the stock as a value play in the coal space.
    • Zann points out that coal is a relatively low capital intensive business vs. shale producers, who must spend considerable sums drilling new wells to maintain a production base.
    • Zann likes Schlumberger (SLB +1%) and Halliburton (HAL -1.3%) among oil services stocks, and Marathon Oil (MRO +1.3%) in the E&P group.
    | 9 Comments
  • Wed, Mar. 25, 6:08 PM
    • The number of drill rigs in North Dakota’s oil patch has slipped below 100 for the first time in five years thanks to weaker crude oil prices.
    • Only 98 rigs are now drilling in the area, 100 fewer than on the same day a year ago and the lowest since March 2010.
    • North Dakota has been producing ~1.2M bbl/day of oil, and industry officials say ~115 rigs need to be drilling to keep that level of production.
    • Top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO
    | 16 Comments
  • Fri, Mar. 20, 10:33 AM
    • No matter how unfavorable market fundamentals may be to Bakken operators, North Dakota likely will see a big surge in production this June, potentially besting another supply record even if prices continue to crater, according to the director of the state's Department of Mineral Resources.
    • Production is expected to remain at 1.1M-1.2M bbl/day over the next few months before skyrocketing in June by nearly 10%, or an additional 75K-100K bbl/day, propelled by a state-mandated time limit on drilling and the expected trigger of a major oil tax incentive.
    • Top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO
    | 19 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 17, 7:40 PM
    • Crude oil production at three major U.S. shale oil fields - the Eagle Ford in south Texas, the Bakken in North Dakota, and the Niobrara in Colorado and adjacent states - is projected to fall this month for the first time in six years, the Energy Information Administration says.
    • Net production from the three fields is expected to drop by a combined 24K bbl/day, but overall losses likely will be masked by production gains in the Permian Basin in west Texas and other regions.
    • It is one of the first signs that idling hundreds of drilling rigs and billions of dollars in corporate cutbacks are starting to affect the U.S. oil patch, but it also shows that drilling technology and techniques have advanced to the point that productivity gains may be negligible in some shale plays.
    • Top Eagle Ford producers: EOG, BHP, COP, CHK, MRO, APC
    • Top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO
    • Top Niobrara producers: NBL, APC, ECA, CHK, EOG, WPX
    | 37 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 17, 7:12 PM
    • Most of the top 15 shale oil producers in the U.S. are heavily concentrated in basins expected by NavPort to be severely affected by the decline in prices, with one major exception: ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP).
    • COP has the lowest well completion concentration in basins expected to suffer the greatest production cuts this year, implying less disruption than other shale competitors, according to NavPort, which collates oil well and rig data using regulatory reports.
    • All 14 of the other top producers tracked by NavPort have at least two-thirds of well completion concentrated in the basins rated with "strong" or "severe" exposure: CHK, APC, EOG, DVN, SWN, MRO, APA, SD, XOM, CLR, PXD, NBL, BHP, WLL.
    • Operators concentrated in basins that have been less severely affected - such as the Woodford, Utica and Haynesville basins - should enjoy more production than their peers through a higher volume of well completions, NavPort says.
    • The study sees the Mississippi Lime, Granite Wash, Bakken and Permian basins suffering at least a 40% Y/Y reduction in drilling.
    | 17 Comments
  • Fri, Mar. 13, 9:19 AM
    • Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) releases a statement suggesting ways the U.S. government should adjust its energy policies, including allowing U.S. exports of oil and natural gas, approving the Keystone XL pipeline, and making the regulatory process less burdensome and more transparent.
    • "The energy industry has been an economic engine for the entire nation at a time of recession, slow growth, and falling labor participation rates,” CEO Rex Tillerson says.
    • Also, several CEOs of U.S. drilling companies, including ConocoPhillips' (NYSE:COP) Ryan Lance, Marathon Oil's (NYSE:MRO) Lee Tillman, Chesapeake Energy's (NYSE:CHK) Doug Lawler and Occidental Petroleum's (NYSE:OXY) Steve Chazen, reportedly were in D.C. this week trying to persuade White House officials and lawmakers to lift the 40-year ban on U.S. oil exports.
    | 62 Comments
  • Thu, Mar. 12, 6:32 PM
    • North Dakota says production of crude oil from the Bakken Shale fell in January from all-time highs the previous month, slipping 3.3% 1.19M bbl/day from a record 1.23M bbl/day in December, according to a new report from the state's department of mineral resources.
    • As prices for Bakken sweet crude fell to a six-year low of an average of $31.41/bbl in January, down from $40.74 December, the number of completions of previously drilled wells fell sharply to 47 from 183 in the prior month.
    • The number of active rigs used to drill new wells in North Dakota sank to 111 as of today, the fewest since April 2010 and about half the peak of 218 rigs in May 2012; the state's mineral resources director predicts a bottom 100 rigs, noting that 115 active rigs are needed to maintain stable production.
    • Top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO
    | 38 Comments
  • Mon, Mar. 2, 7:35 PM
    • The crude oil aboard the train that derailed and exploded two weeks ago in West Virginia contained so much combustible gas that it would have been barred from rail transport under safety regulations set to go into effect next month, WSJ reports.
    • The oil’s vapor pressure was 13.9 psi, which exceeds the limit of 13.7 psi that North Dakota is set to impose in April on oil moving by truck or rail from the Bakken Shale.
    • Plains All American Pipeline (NYSE:PAA), which shipped the oil, says it follows regulations governing the shipping and testing of crude; CSX, the railroad that carried the oil, says it had stepped up its inspections of the track along the route.
    • The new information about the West Virginia accident likely will increase regulators’ focus on the makeup of oil being shipped by train; oil from sahle formations is known to contain far more combustible gas than traditional crude oil, which has a vapor pressure of ~6 psi.
    • Top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO
    | 16 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 26, 2:58 PM
    • North Dakota's oil producers have cut the number of active rigs in the state to just 121 from 190 a year ago, according to a new list published by the state’s Department of Mineral Resources.
    • The rig count is now below the threshold of “at least 130” the DMR director had identified last month as needed to sustain output at the current level of slightly more than 1.2M bbl/day.
    • Of the 121 active rigs, 115 are drilling in just four counties at the heart of the Bakken - Dunn, McKenzie, Mountrail and Williams.
    • With the number of rigs in even the core areas down by 30% in just over two months, production likely will begin to plateau or fall in the coming months, Reuters' John Kemp writes.
    • Top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO
    | 11 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 19, 4:48 PM
    • Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) says it already has captured $225M in savings as it squeezes well costs in fields in south Texas and elsewhere and renegotiates service contracts in response to the steep drop in crude oil prices.
    • "With margins compressed by lower commodity prices, it is incumbent upon us to be aggressive in pushing those service costs and tangible costs down," Lance Robertson, VP of North American Operations, said in today's earnings conference call.
    • MRO also says it has reduced its per well cost by $1.3M to an average of $6.3M through efficiency and service costs reductions.
    • The company also is eliminating 350-400 positions, which would amount to slightly more than 10% of its total workforce.
    | 2 Comments
  • Wed, Feb. 18, 5:36 PM
    • Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) -0.5% AH as breakeven Q4 earnings fall short of expectations of a small gain and revenues fell slightly compared to the year-ago quarter.
    • MRO also announces a $3.5B capital budget for 2015, a further 20% decrease since December's budget update; MRO now plans to spend $3.5B drilling for oil and gas in 2015, down by ~40% from the $5.9B it spent in 2014, with nearly 70% of this year's spending directed toward the three core U.S. resource plays in the Eagle Ford, Bakken and Oklahoma basins.
    • Despite the lower spending, MRO expects to achieve ~20% Y/Y production growth in 2015, with 370K-390K net boe/day available for sale from combined North America E&P and International E&P segments, excluding Libya.
    • In Q4, MRO says its U.S. resource plays averaged net production of 206K boe/day, up 43% Y/Y and up 7% Q/Q.
    • Driven by strong reserves growth in U.S. resource plays, MRO's year-end total net proved reserves were ~2.2B boe, up 6% Y/Y; reserve replacement ratio excluding dispositions was 183%, with 305M boe of net proved reserves added during 2014.
    | 2 Comments
  • Wed, Feb. 18, 5:06 PM
    • Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO): Q4 EPS of $0.00 misses by $0.03.
    • Revenue of $2.5B (-2.0% Y/Y) beats by $80M.
    • Shares -1.3% AH.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
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Company Description
Marathon Oil Corp is an energy company engaged in the exploration, production and marketing of liquid hydrocarbons and natural gas, production and marketing of products manufactured from natural gas and oil sands mining.