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Published: Friday, 11/2/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Marathon Petroleum posts $1.22B in profit for third quarter

BY KRIS TURNER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

FINDLAY — Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s third-quarter profits were 8 percent higher than 2011’s results, marking a strong performance for the oil company.

Marathon posted a profit of $1.22 billion, or $3.59 per share, compared with $1.13 billion, or $3.16 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

“We posted another strong financial and operational performance in the third quarter,” said Gary Heminger, the company’s president and chief executive officer, who added that the performance was comparable to the third quarter last year.

Revenue rose to $21.25 billion from $20.65 billion.

Marathon’s stock fell 90 cents to $54.03 a share.

The company’s temporary shutdown of its Detroit refinery is on schedule and on budget, officials said during a conference call to announce the third-quarter results. The $2.2 billion project, which began Sept. 4, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

“It is in the early stages of startup,” Mr. Heminger said, adding that the upgrades should help Marathon lower its feedstock costs.

The company’s spin-off operations, MPLX LP, also has been a successful venture. It raised $380.6 million in an initial public offering.

The limited partnership sold 17.3 million units at $22 each when it hit the market, above the expected selling price.

MPLX will be the “primary vehicle to grow and operate” the company’s existing businesses, Mr. Heminger said.

Shareholders have a 23 percent limited partner interest in MPLX, and Marathon owns the rest.

Marathon refines oil and transports it throughout the country.

The company purchased BP’s Texas City refinery in October in a deal estimated at about $1.8 billion. Texas City is on Galveston Bay, about 40 miles southeast of Houston.

The refinery was the site of a March, 2005, explosion that killed 15 people and injured more than 170. An investigation of the site revealed BP was responsible for violating environmental laws.

The refinery processes more than 450,000 barrels of oil a day. It is the fifth-largest in the United States, and one of the most complex in the world.

“This is a unique opportunity to acquire world-scale refining assets,” Mr. Heminger said.

Contact Kris Turner at: kturner@theblade.com or 419-724-6103.



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