UPDATE 2-Marathon Petroleum eyes cheap US domestic crude

Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:09pm EST
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* Marathon to take over BP's Texas City refinery on Friday

* Company to operate Capline pipeline

* CEO Heminger says Utica condensate production "prolific"

By Selam Gebrekidan

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Marathon Petroleum said on Wednesday a series of projects will improve its access to cheap domestic crude and boost its U.S. refinery profits as it seeks to benefit from the nation's energy boom.

The company plans to ship more crude form North Dakota's Bakken shale and Canadian tar sands to its Midwest plants and outfit its Ohio and Kentucky facilities to process increasing volumes of Utica condensate. It also hopes to take advantage of increasing Eagle Ford shale and Permian basin crude supplies at its Gulf Coast refineries.

Output from these shale prospects has jumped in the last few years, with the Bakken and Eagle Ford alone accounting for more than a million barrels-per-day of US production in November, data from state regulators show.

Marathon President and Chief Executive Gary Heminger said he expects shale oil supplies to the Gulf Coast will grow in the coming months and keep a lid on the price of U.S. light crude oil.

This is a boon for his company, which operates the 490,000 barrels-per-day Garyville refinery in Louisiana and will complete its $2.5 billion purchase of BP's Texas City, Texas plant on Friday.   Continued...