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Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO)

  • Jul. 14, 2014, 2:21 PM
    • Whiting Petroleum's (WLL +7.4%) $6B buyout of Kodiak Oil & Gas (KOG +5.1%) is renewing investor attention on independent energy firms with operations in the Bakken Shale, especially those significantly owned by hedge funds; Paulson & Co. is the single biggest owner of KOG stock, with just under 10% of shares outstanding as of the last filing date.
    • While many of the largest Bakken producers are huge companies or parts of huge companies - Hess (NYSE:HES), EOG, Statoil (NYSE:STO), Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), XTO Energy (NYSE:XOM) - a few small and mid-cap independent players show hedge fund interest, CNBC's Brian Sullivan writes.
    • The single biggest holder of Oasis Petroleum (OAS +0.5%) also is John Paulson's hedge fund, which owns 9.9M shares (~9.8% of shares outstanding), Jana Partners owns 16M-plus shares in QEP Resources (QEP +1.4%), and WPX Energy (WPX +1.1%) has substantial hedge fund ownership.
  • Jul. 7, 2014, 6:30 PM
    • Energy companies invested hundreds of millions of dollars when they started extracting oil from shale formations in south Texas a few years ago to make the volatile crude was safer to handle, but the failure to do so at the Bakken shale is coming back to haunt the oil industry as the U.S. government seeks to prevent fiery accidents of trains containing North Dakota oil.
    • Only one stabilizer, which can remove the most volatile gases before transport, has been built in North Dakota and it hasn't begun operation, according to a WSJ review; if the government mandates the use of stabilizers, companies would have to make big investments in equipment which could slow Bakken's development.
    • Oil producers are fighting the perception that the biggest risks come from Bakken crude, almost all of which is moved by rail, but safety officials and lawmakers say the dangers extend far beyond North Dakota.
    • Top Bakken producers include CLR, EOG, KOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
  • Jul. 3, 2014, 3:20 PM
    • A recent surge of low-magnitude earthquakes in Oklahoma probably is the result of the underground disposal of vast quantities of wastewater generated by oil and gas extraction, according to a new study published today in the journal Science.
    • The researchers also calculated that four of the highest-volume wells in Oklahoma are capable of triggering ~20% of recent central U.S. quakes, and found that such induced quakes could potentially occur more than 30 km from the well.
    • The Cornell geophysics professor who led the study says the results suggest regulators and oil companies should avoid disposing of wastewater near major faults and do a better job monitoring the activity.
    • Among energy firms with a significant Oklahoma presence: CHK, CLR, APA, DVN, SD, EOG, MRO, OKE, OKS, GPOR, WPX, WMB, WPZ, LPI, CWEI, NFX, NGL, COG, WLL, NBL, MPO, PQ, XEC.
  • Jul. 2, 2014, 9:58 AM
    • Rebels blocking Libyan oil production say they are reopening Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, the country’s largest and third-largest export facilities with combined capacity of 560K bbl/day, in a gesture of support for the newly elected parliament.
    • Libya is now producing ~320K bbl/day, ~20% of its output before Qaddafi was overthrown in 2011; reopening the two terminals would increase Libya’s crude export capacity almost five-fold.
    • August Brent futures (BNO) fell as much as 0.7% to $111.54, the lowest intraday level in almost three weeks; the restart at the two ports probably would send Brent down to $110/bbl, Commerzbank says.
    • Energy companies with a significant presence in Libya include Total (TOT), Statoil (STO), ConocoPhillips (COP), Marathon Oil (MRO), Hess (HES), Occidental Petroleum (OXY) and Repsol (REPYF, REPYY).
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  • Jul. 1, 2014, 6:45 PM
    • North Dakota regulators tell crude oil explorers to cut the flaring of natural gas or face limits on the amount of oil they can pump from the Bakken shale formation.
    • The state's crude output has surpassed 1M bbl/day, behind only Texas, but while Texas captures all but 1% of the natural gas produced, North Dakota burns 30% of its output as waste as the rate of production has outstripped companies' ability to capture gas through pipeline connections at the source.
    • The North Dakota Industrial Commission is aiming for a 26% reduction in gas flaring statewide by Q4 of this year and another 23% by Q1 2015.
    • Top Bakken producers include CLR, EOG, KOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
  • Jun. 25, 2014, 7:17 PM
    • The decision to allow two Texas companies to export condensates looks like a win for Eagle Ford Shale crude producers at the expense of refiners and companies planning to build processing plants along the Gulf coast.
    • Today's selloff in refiners reflected concern that the groups will lose some of their competitive edge if condensate exports become common: Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO), the largest U.S. refiner, dropped 8.3%, PBF tumbled 10.7%, PSX fell 4.2%, and HFC slid 6.7%.
    • Oppenheimer notes that PXD, DVN, MRO, COP and MUR produce the most Eagle Ford condensate, and could benefit if U.S. condensate prices close some of the gap with European prices; EOG, the largest Eagle Ford producer, produces little condensate and likely benefits little from the lifting of the condensate ban.
    • Investor reaction toward Gulf Coast gathering and processing MLPs such as EPD, MMP, KMP and NGLS was more muted, since plans to build splitters in Texas may be undermined by even modest rule changes in the crude export ban that allow Eagle Ford producers to sell condensate after running it from the wellhead to their own nearby - and much cheaper - distillation towers.
  • Jun. 18, 2014, 12:24 PM
    • North Dakota, home to the Bakken shale formation, is now the fourth state in U.S. history to produce more than 1M bbl/day of oil, as the state's Department of Mineral Resources reports output rose 2.5% in April from March to just above 1M bbl/day.
    • North Dakota now produces more than 12% of all U.S. oil and more than 1% of global production - unimaginable just a decade ago
    • Texas, California and Alaska previously have crossed the million-barrel mark; of the three, only Texas remains above it, at almost 3M bbl/day.
    • Among Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, KOG, WLL, HES, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
  • Jun. 5, 2014, 10:34 AM
    • North Dakota is cracking down on flaring via strict rules that may slow oil field development in areas far from pipelines and effectively reinforce the competitive advantage enjoyed by companies that already have taken steps to curb the wasteful burning of natural gas.
    • The no. 2 oil producing state now requires energy companies to submit a plan to capture natural gas that could be released by a new well when filing for permits; new rules for existing wells are expected to be announced July 1 with a goal of reducing the amount of gas flared to 10% by 2020 from ~30% today.
    • Continental Resources (CLR), Marathon Oil (MRO) and Hess (HES) say they are already working to cut flaring, recognizing they are burning a product that could be sold.
    • New rules could boost demand for products from Chart Industries (GTLS), which makes small liquefaction equipment, and Capstone Turbine (CPST), a maker of small power plants, Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov says.
  • Jun. 2, 2014, 2:30 PM
    • There's little investor excitement today over Marathon Oil's (MRO -0.3%) $2.7B deal to sell its Norwegian North Sea assets, but some analysts react much more favorably for the long term.
    • Morningstar's Allen Good likes the move, as it frees MRO from high-decline assets in a high-tax region, resulting in a greater overall growth rate and improved after-tax margins and creating a more pure-play domestic E&P which may prove more attractive to investors.
    • Credit Suisse's Ed Westlake thinks MRO shares should trade to $45, as MRO's growth this decade is underpinned by three positions in the core of high-return shale basins which alone could support the current market cap and more.
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  • Jun. 2, 2014, 7:06 AM
    • Marathon Oil (MRO) agrees to sell its Norwegian business to Det Norske Oljeselskap (DETNF) in a deal valued at ~$2.7B, as it focuses on its U.S. operations.
    • The sale includes the MRO-operated Alvheim FPSO vessel, 10 company-run licenses and some non-operated licenses on the Norwegian continental shelf; last year's net production in Norway averaged ~80K boe/day.
    • MRO says it abandoned plans to sell its U.K. North Sea business after failing to attract an acceptable offer.
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  • May 23, 2014, 12:46 PM
    • The first cargo of crude oil to be exported by pipeline from Iraqi Kurdistan has left a Turkish port by ship, bound for another European destination.
    • A tanker loaded with more than 1M barrels of crude oil departed last night from Ceyhan, "the first of many such sales," the Kurdistan Regional Government says.
    • The move by the semi-autonomous region defies Baghdad's objections and may encourage other regional authorities to bypass the central government.
    • Oil companies with a Kurdistan presence include global majors Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), Marathon Oil (MRO), Hess (HES) and Total (TOT), as well as wildcatters such as Gulf Keystone (GUKYF) and Genel Energy (GEGYF).
  • May 23, 2014, 12:26 PM
    • The revelation that California's Monterey Shale deposit will yield only 4% of what was originally hoped was not a big surprise to those in the know, who say the downgrade does little to alter the near-term trajectory of the energy renaissance.
    • Monterey's terrain, as well as California's strict environmental regulation, always meant full scale drilling would be difficult; Chevron (CVX) bemoaned the lack of profit derived from its Monterey operations at a 2013 shareholders meeting, and Venoco - once one of the biggest drillers in the formation - exited most of its Monterey acreage years ago in order to reduce debt and go private.
    • The Monterey news does spotlight an element of the shale boom that often goes unremarked by fracking advocates: Shale wells are prone to rapid depletion rates, as spots in North Dakota's Bakken lose 85% of their capacity within a few years.
    • Among Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, KOG, WLL, HES, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
  • May 23, 2014, 11:59 AM
    • Spanish media says domestic oil company Repsol (REPYY, REPYF) is poised to make a bid of €2B ($2.7B) for Marathon Oil's (MRO) assets off Norway in a move to optimize its own portfolio.
    • Sweden's Lundin (LNDNF, LNDNY) is among a lineup of 10 bidders angling for the MRO's portfolio, with possible participation by Asian players, according to the head of Oslo-based research firm Rystad Energy.
    • Analysts say MRO could announce a deal for the assets as soon as mid-June after bids were submitted earlier this month.
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  • May 22, 2014, 8:59 AM
  • May 20, 2014, 6:58 PM
    • Bakken crude oil is similar to other North American light, sweet grades and does not pose a greater rail transportation risk than other transportation fuels, according to a report compiled for a North Dakota energy producers lobby group.
    • The study shows Bakken crude is more volatile than heavier oils such as from Canada’s tar sands, but is similar to light crudes produced elsewhere in the U.S., with characteristics that fall well within the margin of safety for the current tank car fleet.
    • The oil producers' study follows a report with similar results issued last week by a refining industry group.
    • Among Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, KOG, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
  • May 19, 2014, 7:58 AM
    • Brent crude rises above $110/bbl on renewed concerns over Libya's oil output following some of the worst violence in Tripoli since Gaddafi's ouster in 2011.
    • Gunmen stormed Libya's parliament yesterday and demanded its suspension, claiming loyalty to a renegade army general.
    • An end to a month-long blockade of major oil ports in eastern Libya last month raised the prospect of higher crude exports, but just-opened oil fields have been closed again as clashes erupt.
    • Also helping push crude prices are potential Norwegian strikes and the shutdown of BP's Foinaven field for maintenance.
    • Energy companies with a significant presence in Libya include Total (TOT), Statoli (STO), ConocoPhillips (COP), Marathon Oil (MRO), Hess (HES) and Occidental Petroleum (OXY).
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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.