Marathon Petroleum Weighs Alaska Refinery Sale

Marathon Petroleum Weighs Alaska Refinery Sale
Marathon Petrolelum Corp. is weighing a sale of its Kenai refinery.

Marathon Petrolelum Corp. is weighing a sale of its Kenai refinery in Alaska as the U.S. largest independent crude processor seeks to further streamline operations.

The decision makes Kenai the third U.S. refinery for sale, with Marathon rival Phillips 66 also looking for alternatives for its Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, Louisiana after damage caused by Hurricane Ida and LyondellBasell Industries NV is seeking a buyer for its Houston refinery. The Kenai refinery is one of Marathon’s smallest, running about 68,000 barrels a day. The plant processes mainly Alaska domestic crude to produce gasoline among other fuels.

Marathon’s move was disclosed Tuesday in its third-quarter earnings statement. The decision comes even as U.S. refining margins are rebounding from lockdowns, with gasoline demand now at near pre-pandemic levels and stocks at the lowest since November 2017, easing pressure on refiners to slash costs. Marathon posted a $694 million profit in the quarter, reversing a $886 million loss a year earlier.

First reports that Marathon was seeking to sell Kenai refinery date back to 2019. At the time, activist investor Elliott Management Corp. listed the plant among “several logical non-core” Marathon assets. Marathon shares fell 2.4% to $65.67 at 10:28 a.m. in New York.

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