Marathon issues interim update

Marathon Oil took a lighter tone than Chevron or ConocoPhillips in its interim quarterly update issued today.
Chevron and ConocoPhillips, the second- and third-largest integrated U.S. oil companies behind Exxon Mobil, earlier this month issued updates that noted the obvious: first quarter earnings will be down despite slight upticks in production because oil and natural gas prices are down.
Marathon, the fourth-largest integrated U.S. oil company, provided a less stark update. The company’s 404,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day sold in the first two months of the year is slightly below some analysts’ expectations, but production is up 7 percent from the fourth quarter of last year.
Also, Marathon said refining margins, while low, aren’t negative as they were when prices first hit triple digits in the first quarter of last year. The company also said its earnings, which will be released April 30, will note a $60 million pre-tax loss from its refining, marketing and transportation segment–half the loss recorded a year ago.

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