Marathon trims costs, narrows losses by $557 million

Marathon Oil's corporate headquarters in Houston. (AP file photo/Pat Sullivan)
Marathon Oil’s corporate headquarters in Houston. (AP file photo/Pat Sullivan)

Marathon Oil Corp., one of the largest oil companies in the U.S., has trimmed production costs, chopped expenses and, as did many in the industry last quarter, narrowed losses.

Marathon, based in Houston, reported on Wednesday that it cut third-quarter losses by 74 percent, or $557 million, to $192 million, or 23 cents per share, over the same period last year.

Revenue dropped by 7 percent or $91 million to $1.2 billion. But the company cut expenses even further, by 40 percent or $961 million, to $1.4 billion.

The company reported total quarterly production at 402,000 barrels of oil and gas, more than expected and up 5 percent over the second quarter.

Its oilfields in Oklahoma were a bright spot, with production there up by more than half over the second quarter this year and almost 80 percent above the third quarter last year.

Marathon said production costs dropped 10 percent in North America and nearly 20 percent internationally over the second quarter. And the company finished the sale of $235 million in CO2 and water-flood properties in West Texas and New Mexico, wrapping up more than $1.7 billion in “noncore” asset sales since August 2015.

The company said it intends to boost rig activity by half again before year’s end.