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Marathon Oil Corporation is an independent international energy company that focuses on the exploration and production of petroleum and natural gas. The company operates in America, Europe, and Africa. However, its main focus is on unconventional resource plays within the United States. The company employs over 2,600 people, has a production capacity of 438,000 barrels per day, and generates revenues of just over $5.5 billion every year. Houston, Texas is home to its corporate headquarters.
Marathon Oil Corp’s operations are divided between three primary reporting segments: North America Exploration and Production (E&P), International E&P, and Oil Sands Mining. These segments are based on geographic location, the nature of services, and products each offers. The North America E&P segment focuses on developing, exploring, producing, and marketing crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids within North America.
The International E&P segment explores, produces, and markets crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids in the United Kingdom, Libya, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Iraq’s Kurdistan region. It also produces and markets natural gas products – such as methanol and liquefied natural gas – in Equatorial Guinea.
In Canada, the Oil Sands Mining segment specializes in mining, extracting, and transporting bitumen from deposits in the oil sands of Alberta. It also produces vacuum gas oil and synthetic crude oil from the bitumen. The segment then markets these finished products.
Marathon Oil started out as the Ohio Oil Company in 1887. It was founded in Lima, Ohio by Henry M. Ernst. Standard Oil, a company owned by John D. Rockefeller, acquired the budding company in 1889. Its headquarters were then moved from Lima to Findlay. By 1908, Ohio Oil had managed to establish itself as a leading pipeline company and controlled at least half of all the oil production in three states.
The Ohio Oil Company remained a significant part of Standard Oil until the latter was broken up in 1911. The company resumed independent operations in the same year and continued to flourish. It expanded its oil exploration operations all the way to Wyoming and acquired more than 1,800 miles of pipeline by 1915. The company also increased the number of gathering and storage facilities it operated during this time.
The automobile industry was also expanding rapidly during this period, giving Ohio Oil the opportunity to market its products. The acquisition of Lincoln Oil Refining Company in 1924 finally allowed them to begin doing so. Through a subsidiary, Ohio Oil co-discovered the mammoth Yates oilfield that is located in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico.
The massive success of its exploration and production activities drove up the need for more retail outlets through which the company could sell its products. By 1930, Ohio Oil was distributing its products throughout the states of Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana. In the same year, the company succeeded in purchasing the Transcontinental Oil Company. It also established its new brand name – Marathon – in the same year. The company changed its name to Marathon Oil Company in 1962.
Within North America, the company’s focus remains on its three major unconventional resource plays which consist of an estimated 365,000 acres. These plays include the Bakken Shale in Oklahoma; Eagle Ford in Texas; and the Oklahoma Recourse Basins. Furthermore, the company recently added a fourth play to its portfolio, this time located in the North Delaware Basin in New Mexico. Marathon Oil also owns and operates extensive miles of petroleum and natural gas gathering pipelines throughout America.
Marathon’s Canadian operations are focused in the oil sands of northern Alberta. This area is a highly productive region with many opportunities for increased production.
By diversifying its service offerings, Marathon Oil has employed a business model that ensures the company’s stability even during global oil and gas price fluctuations. The company also cuts down its operating costs by owning and operating its own infrastructure, eliminating the need to pay fees and commissions to outside players. It also sells its products locally but works with purchasers who may want to distribute the products out-of-state. This approach cuts down transport costs significantly while maximizing the company’s profits at the same time.
Today, Marathon Oil has a production capacity of 438,000 barrels per day. Its proven reserves are also proven to be just over 2.2 billion barrels of oil and natural gas equivalent at the ends of 2015.
5555 San Felipe Street
Houston, TX 77056-2723