(Adds details from statement, background on retail and pipeline
July 31 Marathon Petroleum Corp, the
third-largest standalone U.S. refining company, said its
quarterly profit rose 44 percent, helped by higher crude
refining margins on the Gulf of Mexico coast.
Gulf Coast refiners' profits have shot up as new and
expanded pipelines bring them cheaper North American crude,
helping them boost margins when exporting refined products.
Marathon's purchase of BP Plc's Texas City refinery
in 2012 has raised its exposure to the Gulf Coast, which now
accounts for about two-thirds of its refining capacity.
Crack spread - the difference between the price of crude oil
and the petroleum products extracted from it - for Light
Louisiana sweet on the Gulf Coast rose by $2.55 per barrel in
the second quarter from a year earlier, the company said.
Marathon, which is making a big push into pipeline and
retail businesses to shield itself from the volatile refining
business, said it expects to invest about $295 million in
Enbridge Inc's Southern Access Extension pipeline
The pipeline will transport crude oil from Flanagan,
Illinois, to a crude storage and blending hub in Patoka,
Illinois, and is expected to up and running by mid-2015.
Marathon also said that the Federal Trade Commission had
concluded its review of the company's purchase of Hess Corp's
retail business and that the deal would close by the end of the
Marathon bought the business to expand its network of gas
stations and convenience stores along the U.S. East Coast. The
deal will result in Marathon's retail unit, Speedway, growing to
more than 2,700 stores in 23 states, the company said.
Net income attributable to Marathon rose to $855 million, or
$2.95 per share, in the quarter ended June 30, from $593
million, or $1.83 per share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose 4.5 percent to $26.84 billion.
Marathon on Wednesday raised its share buyback program by $2
The company also raised its dividend to 50 cents per share
from 42 cents, marking the fourth such increase since it was
spun off from Marathon Oil Corp in July 2011.
(Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by
Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Simon Jennings)