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Marathon Oil Posts $170M Loss, But Beats Expectations

Crude Oil Pipeline

Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) reported on Wednesday a net loss of US$170 million for the second quarter, more than halving its US$386-million loss for the same period last year and beating analyst expectations.

Adjusted for one-off items, Marathon Oil posted a loss of US$ 0.23 per diluted share, slightly better than the loss of US$0.24 per share analysts had predicted.

The group’s North American net production available for sale dropped to 224,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) for Q2—13 percent less than Q1.

On the other hand, Marathon Oil’s international E&P production—excluding Libya where there is uncertainty around the timing of future output and sales levels—averaged 120,000 boed, an 11-percent increase over the same quarter the previous year. Marathon Oil attributed the higher international output to production in Equatorial Guinea and resumption of production from Brae Alpha in the U.K.

Still, the higher international output was unable to offset lower North American production and the sequential decrease in oil sands mining (OSM) output, which dropped to an average of 40,000 bpd, down from 49,000 bpd in the first quarter, mostly due to the wildfires in May.

Thus, Marathon Oil’s total production averaged 384,000 boed for the second quarter (excluding Libya), down from 388,000 boed in the first quarter and down from 407,000 boed for the second quarter of 2015.

Regarding production costs, second-quarter North American unit production costs dropped 13 percent from Q2 2015 to US$6.28 per boe. International unit production costs—not counting Libya again—fell 25 percent from Q2 2015 to US$4.34 per boe.

Looking ahead, Marathon Oil revised down its full-2016 unit production costs for North America by US$1.00 per boe, to a range of between US$6.00 and US$7.00. International unit production costs were adjusted downwards by US$0.50 per boe, to a range of US$4.50-US$5.50.

Related: The End Of A Trend: Oil Prices And Economic Growth

For the third quarter, Marathon Oil expects its North America output to average 200,000-210,000 boed, to reflect asset sales in Wyoming and the recent acquisition of the STACK assets in Oklahoma. For the full year, and further adjusting production guidance to divestitures and acquisitions, the company expects its total E&P production at 330,000 to 345,000 boed.

Marathon Oil also revised down its 2016 capital investment program by US$100 million to US$1.3 billion, despite including higher activity from the Oklahoma STACK acquisition.

“Coupled with recent non-core divestitures, we're delivering on our objective to further concentrate our capital allocation to the lower cost, higher margin U.S. resource plays," said Marathon Oil President and CEO Lee Tillman.

"In addition to successful portfolio management, we continued our relentless focus on reducing costs and driving durable operational efficiencies while delivering impressive new well results in the resource plays."

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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