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Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO)

  • Oct. 3, 2013, 8:12 AM
    • Libya's National Oil Corp. is interested in buying Marathon Oil's (MRO) stake in Waha Oil, one of the country's most important joint ventures, the oil minister says, amplifying remarks reported yesterday.
    • Waha has capacity of 350K bbl/day and produces Libya's main light sweet crude grade; Hess (HES) and ConocoPhillips (COP), along with the NOC, are MRO's other partners in Waha.
    • In Q1, production from Libya accounted for ~7% of MRO's total output.
    | Comment!
  • Oct. 2, 2013, 11:47 AM
    • Libya’s energy minister tells investors in London that Marathon Oil (MRO -1.2%) is considering selling its stake in its Libyan oil joint venture, confirming earlier media reports.
    • The minister says Libya will have a new oil law by the end of the year; the  country holds large oil reserves but has been in turmoil since Gadhafi's fall, and exports have plunged as protesters shut down oil fields.
    | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 30, 2013, 3:59 PM
    • Chevron (CVX) and Range Resources (RRC) stand out among energy plays Credit Suisse thinks will thrive amid fast-rising U.S. production and declining demand.
    • The firm favors upstream companies with repeatable drilling inventory at the low end of the cost curve (e.g. Wattenberg, Eagle Ford, Northern Midland, Utica, super-rich Marcellus, core Bakken): Taking value into account, it likes Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), Noble Energy (NBL), Anadarko Petroleum (APC), Marathon Oil (MRO), Gulfport Energy (GPOR), Diamondback Energy (FANG) and PDC Energy (PDCE).
  • Sep. 30, 2013, 12:54 PM
    • Marathon Oil (MRO +0.5%) is upgraded to Buy from Hold with a $42 target price at Argus, which believes shares are undervalued at recent prices given the company's oil-heavy production mix.
    • In the firm's view, companies with a heavy weighting toward crude will outperform in an environment of high-priced West Texas crude (above $100/bbl) and relatively inexpensive natural gas (below $4/Mcf); in Q2, MRO's mix was 72% crude and 28% nat gas, one of the highest weightings toward crude in its E&P coverage universe.
    • Argus is raising its 2013 EPS estimate for MRO to $2.82 from $2.80 and its 2014 estimate to $3.25 from $3.15.
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  • Sep. 30, 2013, 7:49 AM
    • Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) says it plans to sell its stake in the Eagle Ford Shale in south Texas, in the wake of a $2B write-down of its North American assets.
    • Shell’s sale of leases on 106K acres, coupled with ~130K acres in leases that are expiring this year, provides opportunities for smaller players to get in on a maturing prospect.
    • Shell says the Eagle Ford holdings didn't meet the company's targets for size and profitability, but smaller producers such as ConocoPhillips (COP) and Marathon Oil (MRO) have found success there.
  • Sep. 27, 2013, 12:37 PM
    • Marathon Oil (MRO -0.7%) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolaus, citing a lack of meaningful upside to its prior target price/fair value and expectations for lackluster Q3 results.
    • Although MRO remains a value stock, the firm does not expect the valuation discount to narrow in the coming 6-12 months given that production will sequentially decline in Q3 with likely subpar 2014 production growth of 3%-5%.
    | Comment!
  • Sep. 15, 2013, 3:22 AM
    • The SEC is pushing energy companies to disclose how much of their liquid reserves comprise fuel that is not derived from crude oil but from natural gas, such as the less valuable propane.
    • BHP (BHP) and ConocoPhillips (COP) are among the companies to have recently agreed to the SEC's request, joining the likes of Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Anadarko Petroleum (APC).
    • The matter has become quite important, because while crude is worth $100 a barrel, the prices of other fuels have dropped along with that of natural gas.
    • Other companies to have been contacted by the SEC over the issue include Chevron (CVX) and Marathon Oil (MRO).
    | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 13, 2013, 10:55 AM
    • With the U.S. poised to become a major oil exporter in the not too distant future, it makes sense that U.S. companies raising their oil production may have a bright future; these companies increased their oil production the most YTD:
    • Continental Resources (CLR) will raise its production 38% this year, continuing a string of double-digit increases over the past four years; consensus stock target price is $110.
    • Noble Energy (NBL) is expected to raise its production in 2013 by 15%; consensus stock price target is $70.50.
    • Permian Basin pure play Concho Resources (CXO) is expecting a 14% rise in its production; consensus target is $110.
    • Also: BP, SWN, MRO, RDS.A, RDS.B.
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  • Sep. 10, 2013, 8:45 AM
    • Marathon Oil (MRO) agrees to sell its 10% working interest in its offshore Angola Block 32 to Sonangol E.P. for $590M, and it will acquire 4,800 net acres in the core of its south Texas Eagle Ford position for ~$97M.
    • With the anticipated Angola Block 32 sale, MRO has completed or agreed to ~$3.5B in sales, surpassing the $3B upper end of its three-year target.
    • MRO also says it is moving forward with plans to repurchase $1B of its common stock pursuant to its outstanding share repurchase authorization.
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  • Aug. 28, 2013, 11:59 AM
    | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 28, 2013, 9:44 AM
    • Libyan oil production has dropped to one-eighth of capacity as protests over pay and allegations of corruption spread to fields operated by Eni (E +2.5%) and Repsol (REPYY.PK, REPYF.PK).
    • Earlier protests were in the central and eastern regions that produce and export the majority of Libya’s crude, affecting companies such as Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Marathon Oil (MRO), Hess (HES) and ConocoPhillips (COP).
    • Libyan output has slumped to ~200K bbl/day vs. 640K earlier this month and optimal capacity of 1.6M, according to the chairman of the state oil company.
  • Aug. 27, 2013, 11:48 AM
    • Marathon Oil (MRO +1.1%) names former El Paso Corp. executive John Sult as its new CFO, replacing Janet Clark, who plans to retire Oct. 1.
    • Sult was El Paso's CFO during 2009-12 until the company was acquired by Kinder Morgan in 2012, and was controller during 2005-09; he currently serves on the board of power company Dynegy.
    | Comment!
  • Aug. 23, 2013, 11:58 AM
    • Marathon Oil (MRO) is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform with a $38 price target by Raymond James, saying the stock’s recent declines created an attractive entry point.
    • The firm sees realistic long-term targeted organic growth of 5%-7% per year, enabled by a hefty footprint in high-margin resource plays, and complemented by an exploration program with plenty of catalysts coming up.
    • Also, MRO is poised to organically fund essentially all of its 2014 capital program, one of few E&P companies able to make such a claim.
    | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 22, 2013, 10:30 AM
    • Libya says it will resume oil exports from Brega, one of four ports where it declared force majeure this week, as protests that shut the facilities have eased.
    • Brega may add ~90K bbl/day to Libya’s exports that are running at 500K bbl/day shipped through the Zawiya terminal in western Libya; the three other terminals, including Es Sider, remain shut.
    • The closures continue to impact companies operating in the eastern and central regions such as Marathon Oil (MRO), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Hess (HES) and ConocoPhillips (COP).
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  • Aug. 20, 2013, 3:10 PM
    • Clashes erupt at oil terminals in eastern Libya, as tensions mount in the region.
    • The forced closure of Libya's key oil ports by striking guards and workers has more than halved the country's oil production to ~600K bbl/day in recent weeks; oil usually is exported from Libya through a partnership between state-run NOC, Occidental Petroleum (OXY) and OMV (OMVJF.PK).
    • Libya's coast guard yesterday stopped a tanker from entering at the Es Sider terminal amid fears gunmen are trying to market oil outside government control; the port exports oil from concessions run by Libya's NOC with Marathon Oil (MRO), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Hess (HES).
    | Comment!
  • Aug. 19, 2013, 11:12 AM
    • Operator Total (TOT -0.7%) and partner Marathon Oil (MRO -2.6%) say their pre-salt Diaman-1B deepwater exploration well off Gabon’s coast encountered gas condensate, but it continues to analyze the scale of the discovery.
    • Wells Fargo says the discovery is unlikely to be developed on a fast track, so it is not making meaningful changes in its estimates for reserves, margins, cash flow or profitability.
    • Cobalt Energy (CIE -12.8%) also is a partner in the Diaba license where the gas was found (earlier); Gabon's government owns a 15% stake.
    | 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.