Marathon Oil Quarterly Profit Down, Hit By Lower Oil Prices


Nov 3 (Reuters) - U.S. oil producer Marathon Oil Corp on Monday said quarterly profit fell 24 percent, as a slide in the price of crude offset higher oil and natural gas production from shale wells.

Crude oil prices have tumbled 25 percent since June, hit by weakening global demand and growing supplies. On Monday, crude traded in New York fell to its lowest level in more than two years.

In the third quarter, Marathon said the average price it received for its North American crude oil and condensate fell 11 percent to $89.65 per barrel. Average prices for the barrels it produced overseas also tumbled.

Marathon has been selling international assets to focus on drilling more profitable wells in the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford formation in Texas that also deliver faster production growth.

The Houston company closed the sale of its Norway business in October for $2.1 billion and said its top priority for the funds will be "organic reinvestment in our deep and growing U.S. unconventional portfolio," Chief Executive Officer Lee Tillman said in a statement.

Profit in the third quarter was $431 million, or 64 cents per share, compared with $569 million, or 80 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Total company sales volume from continuing operations, excluding Libya, averaged 411,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up more than 7 percent from a year ago as output from the Eagle and Bakken grew.

(Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Lisa Shumaker)


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