Thursday PM January 13th, 2011

Marathon Oil Corporation announced it is spinning off its refining business to form a new company. Andrew Schneider reports.
Marathon Petroleum

Under the plan announced this morning, Marathon’s downstream operations will split off effective June 30. It expects the new firm — Marathon Petroleum — to become the country’s fifth-largest refiner.

Barbara Shook, Houston Bureau Chief for Energy Intelligence Group, says the move reflects Marathon’s confidence that the refining industry is about to become a lot more profitable.

“It’s been down for the last few years but the refining is extremely cyclical, much more so than the upstream part of the industry is.”

The new firm will have its headquarters in Findlay, Ohio. That reflects holdings concentrated in the Midwest. But the spin-off will cost few local jobs, if any.

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Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...