Marathon Oil profits rise on higher production

Marathon Oil Corp. reported Tuesday a 11 percent jump in profits for the third quarter, as the company boosted its oil and natural gas production.

The Houston-based exploration and production company recorded net income of $450 million, or 63 cents per diluted share, during the three-month period ending Sept. 30. During the same period last year, the company earned $405 million, or 57 cents per diluted share.

Revenue increased to $4.2 billion for the third quarter, compared to $3.8 billion for the third quarter of 2011.

“Marathon Oil’s producing assets exceeded expectations in the third quarter, driven by superior execution in our U.S. resource plays and continued strong reliability from our base assets,” said CEO Clarence P. Cazalot in a written statement. “Our investment in the Eagle Ford shale a little more than a year ago, and our bolt-on acquisitions since then, continue to deliver value beyond original expectations.”

Noting that production was on track to meet or exceed Marathon Oil’s targets, Cazalot said the company hiked its estimates slightly for the year, from between 365,000 and 380,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to between 375,000 and 385,000 barrels.