SSA Helps Marathon Oil

Company reports improved third-quarter 2010 results with downstream help

HOUSTON -- Marathon Oil Corp. president and chief executive officer Clarence P. Cazalot Jr. cited "continuing strong same-store sales growth" at its Speedway SuperAmerica (SSA) retail outlets as a major reason for turning in another solid quarter.

The Houston-based integrated oil company has reported third-quarter 2010 net income of $696 million, or 98 cents per diluted share. Net income in the third quarter of 2009 was $413 million, or 58 cents per diluted share.

"Marathon had another strong quarter, with a continued focus on operational and financial performance [image-nocss] across our business segments," said Clarence P. Cazalot Jr., Marathon's president and chief executive officer.

Total segment income was $854 million in the third quarter of 2010, compared to $687 million in the third quarter of 2009.

The Exploration & Production (E&P) segment income totaled $510 million in the third quarter of 2010, compared to $491 million in the year-ago quarter.

The Refining, Marketing & Transportation (RM&T) segment reported income of $285 million in the third quarter of 2010, compared to income of $158 million in the third quarter of 2009. The refining and wholesale marketing gross margin per gallon was 9.21 cents in the third quarter of 2010 compared to 7.62 cents in the third quarter of 2009.

SSA gasoline and distillate gross margin per gallon averaged 15.49 cents in the third quarter of 2010, compared to 13.99 cents in the third quarter of 2009. SSA third-quarter 2010 same-store gasoline sales volumes increased 6%, while same-store merchandise sales increased by 3% for the same period.

In October, Marathon entered into definitive agreements to sell most of the company's Minnesota downstream assets. The total sales value is approximately $900 million, including an estimated $300 million for inventories associated with the assets and preferred stock with a stated value of $80 million. The sale is anticipated to close by year-end 2010.

In July, Marathon also entered into an agreement to supply fuel to more than 600 Pantry locations in the southeastern United States, with a joint branding relationship at approximately 285 of the sites.

Speedway SuperAmerica, headquartered in Enon, Ohio, is one of the nation's largest company-owned and -operated convenience store chains and the largest in the Midwest with approximately 1,600 stores located in nine states. Most of the stores are operated under the Speedway and SuperAmerica brand names. SSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marathon Oil Corp., Houston.

Marathon Oil has extensive refining, marketing and transportation operations concentrated primarily in the Midwest, Upper Great Plains, Gulf Coast and Southeastern regions of the United States. Marathon Oil's refining, marketing and transportation operations (downstream activities) are operated by Marathon Petroleum Co. LLC (MPC). The company ranks as the fifth largest petroleum refiner in the United States and the largest in the Midwest.