Marathon Oil

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marathon Oil Corporation
FormerlyThe Ohio Oil Company
TypePublic company
S&P 500 component
Founded1887; 136 years ago (1887) as "The Ohio Oil Company"
FateAcquired by Standard Oil in 1889; after the SO breakup of 1911 it continued as an independent company
HeadquartersMarathon Oil Tower,
Houston, U.S.
Key people
Lee M. Tillman, President & CEO
Dane E. Whitehead, CFO
Natural gas
Production output
383 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (2,340,000 GJ) per day
BrandsMarathon (1930–)
RevenueDecrease $3.086 billion (2020)
3,951,000,000 United States dollar (2022) Edit this on Wikidata
Decrease -$1.451 billion (2020)
Total assetsDecrease $17.956 billion (2020)
Total equityDecrease $10.561 billion (2020)
Number of employees
1,672 (2020)
Footnotes / references

Marathon Oil Corporation is an American company engaged in hydrocarbon exploration incorporated in Ohio and headquartered in the Marathon Oil Tower in Houston, Texas.[1] A direct descendant of Standard Oil, it also runs international gas operations focused on Equatorial Guinea, offshore Central Africa.

The company is ranked 534th on the Fortune 500[2] and 1900th on the Forbes Global 2000.[3]

As of December 31, 2020, the company had 972 million barrels of oil equivalent (5.95×109 GJ) of estimated proven reserves, of which 86% was in the United States and 14% was in Equatorial Guinea.[1] The company's proved reserves consisted 52% of petroleum, 30% natural gas and 18% natural gas liquids.[1] In 2020, the company sold 383 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (2,340,000 GJ) per day, of which 26% was from the Eagle Ford Group, 27% was from the Bakken formation, 17% was from Oklahoma, 7% was from the Northern Delaware Basin, 2% was from other U.S. sources, and 20% was from Equatorial Guinea.[1]


Marathon Oil began as "The Ohio Oil Company" in 1887.[4] In 1889, the company was purchased by John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil. It remained a part of Standard Oil until Standard Oil was broken up in 1911. In 1930, The Ohio Oil Company bought the Transcontinental Oil Company and established the "Marathon" brand name. In 1962, the company changed its name to "Marathon Oil Company".[5]

In 1981, Mobil made a hostile takeover offer to buy the company.[6][7] However, the board of Marathon Oil rejected the offer and instead sold the company to United States Steel. A legal battle ensued thereafter.[8]

In 1990, the headquarters was moved to Houston, Texas, but the company's refining subsidiary maintained its headquarters in Findlay, Ohio.[9]

In 1984, Marathon purchased the U.S. unit of Husky Energy for $505 million.[10]

In 1998, Marathon and Ashland Global contributed their refining operations to Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC, now Marathon Petroleum.[11]

In 2001, USX, the holding company that owned United States Steel and Marathon, spun off the steel business and, in 2002, USX renamed itself Marathon Oil Corporation.[12]

In 2003, Marathon sold its Canadian operations to Husky Energy.[13]

In 2003, the company sold its interest in the Yates Oil Field to Kinder Morgan for $225 million.[14][15]

In 2007, Marathon acquired Western Oil Sands for $6.6 billion and gained ownership of its 20% stake in the Athabasca oil sands in northern Alberta and other assets in the midwestern United States.[16]

In 2011, Marathon completed the corporate spin-off of Marathon Petroleum, distributing a 100% interest to its shareholders.[17]

In June 2013, Marathon sold its Angolan oil and gas field to Sinopec for $1.52 billion.[18]

In September 2013, Marathon sold a 10% stake in an oil and gas field offshore Angola for $590 million to Sonangol Group.[19]

In October 2014, the company sold its business in Norway to Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA for $2.1 billion.[20]

In 2017, it sold its interests in the Athabasca oil sands for $2.5 billion and acquired assets in the Permian Basin for $1.2 billion.[21][22]

In March 2018, it sold its assets in Libya for $450 million to Total SE.[23][24]

In 2020, the company derived 13% of its revenues from sales to Marathon Petroleum and 12% of its revenues from sales to Koch Industries.[1]

Corporate philanthropy[edit]

Since 2003, Marathon Oil and its partners Noble Energy and AMPCO, have invested in the Bioko Island Malaria Control Project (BIMCP) in Equatorial Guinea. The project includes distribution of insecticide nets, indoor residual spraying and larval source management, preventive therapy for pregnant women and malaria case management, and investment in a possible malaria vaccine. The project has resulted in a 63% reduction in malaria parasite prevalence and a 63% reduction in the mortality rate and 97% reduction in severe anemia in children under 5 years old.[25]


Environmental record[edit]

According to a 2017 study, the company was responsible for 0.19% of global industrial greenhouse gas emissions from 1988 to 2015.[26]

Dealings in Equatorial Guinea[edit]

The company was investigated for payments made to Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the president of Equatorial Guinea.[27] The SEC completed its investigation in 2009 and did not recommend any enforcement action in the matter.[28]


Chairman of the Board President

James C. Donnell, II, 1972–1975
subsidiary of U.S. Steel, 1981–2001
Thomas J. Usher, 2001–2011
Clarence P. Cazalot Jr., 2011–2013
Dennis H. Reilley, 2013–2019
Lee M. Tillman, 2019–

James C. Donnell, 1911–1927
Otto D. Donnell, 1927–1948
James C. Donnell, II, 1948–1972
Harold D. Hoopman, 1972–1985
William E. Swales, 1985–1987
Victor G. Beghini, 1987–1999
Clarence P. Cazalot Jr., 2000–2013
Lee M. Tillman, 2013–


  • Spence, Hartzell. Portrait in Oil: How the Ohio Oil Company Grew to Become Marathon. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1962.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Marathon Oil Corporation 2020 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. ^ "Fortune 500: Marathon Oil". Fortune.
  3. ^ "Forbes: Marathon Oil". Forbes.
  4. ^ "Marathon Oil Company | American corporation | Britannica". Retrieved 2023-03-27.
  5. ^ Marathon Petroleum. "Our History | Marathon Petroleum". Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  6. ^ Cole, Robert J. (31 October 1981). "A $5 BILLION OFFER FOR MARATHON OIL IS MADE BY MOBIL". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  7. ^ Williams, Winston (26 November 1981). "MARATHON OIL WINS CHEERS IN FINDLAY". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  8. ^ "Mobil Corp. v. Marathon Oil Co.: Tender Offeror's Right to Injunctive Relief Recognized". Pace Law Review. April 1983.
  9. ^ "Marathon Oil Company".
  10. ^ SALPUKAS, AGIS (March 30, 1984). "MARATHON WILL BUY HUSKY UNIT". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Breed, Alan G. (May 16, 1997). "Ashland, Marathon Announce Alliance". Kentucky New Era.
  12. ^ "USX Reorganizes". CSN. October 30, 2001.
  13. ^ BRETHOUR, PATRICK (August 21, 2003). "Husky snaps up Marathon assets". The Globe and Mail.
  14. ^ "Kinder Morgan to acquire Yates field interests from Marathon". Oil & Gas Journal. November 3, 2003.
  15. ^ "Marathon to sell stake in Yates to Kinder Morgan Energy Partners". American City Business Journals. October 30, 2003.
  16. ^ "Marathon to buy Western Oil Sands for $6.5B". CBC News. July 31, 2007.
  17. ^ "Marathon spin-off gives Ohio fifth largest refiner". Associated Press. June 30, 2011 – via
  18. ^ Wong, Fayen (June 23, 2013). "China's Sinopec buys Marathon's Angola oil fields for $1.52 billion". Reuters.
  19. ^ Gopinath, Swetha (September 10, 2013). "Marathon Oil to sell stake in Angolan field for $590 million". Reuters.
  20. ^ "Marathon Oil Closes Transaction for Sale of Norway Business". GlobeNewswire. October 15, 2014.
  21. ^ "Marathon Oil Announces $2.5 Billion Canadian Oil Sands Divestiture and $1.1 Billion Permian Basin Acquisition". GlobeNewswire. March 9, 2017.
  22. ^ Witthaus, Jack (March 9, 2017). "Houston energy co. sells Canadian subsidiary, buys Permian assets in billion-dollar deals". American City Business Journals.
  23. ^ "Marathon Oil Announces Libya Divestiture for $450 Million" (Press release). GlobeNewswire. March 2, 2018.
  24. ^ Pulsinelli, Olivia (March 2, 2018). "Marathon Oil exits Libya with $450M divestiture". American City Business Journals.
  25. ^ "EQUATORIAL GUINEA". Marathon Oil.
  26. ^ "Top 100 producers and their cumulative greenhouse gas emissions from 1988-2015". The Guardian. July 10, 2017.
  27. ^ SILVERSTEIN, KEN (December 18, 2004). "Oil Firms' Rich Concessions to Tainted African Ruler Probed". Los Angeles Times.
  28. ^ Investigation into Marathon Oil's Activities in Equatorial Guinea

External links[edit]

  • Official website Edit this at Wikidata
  • Business data for Marathon Oil: