Marathon expects Cornerstone Pipeline to be done this year

Refinery also reported second-quarter earnings of $801 million

Shane Hoover
Repository staff writer
Posted Jul. 28, 2016 at 9:13 AM
Updated Jul 28, 2016 at 11:01 AM

Construction of Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s Cornerstone Pipeline is going as planned and should be completed before the end of the year, the company announced Thursday.

The 50-mile pipeline is among $500 million in projects designed to carry liquids from Utica and Marcellus shale wells to the Canton refinery and other facilities.

Marathon officials provided the update Thursday during a conference call to discuss the company’s second-quarter results.

Marathon earned $801 million, or $1.51 per diluted share, during the second quarter of this year. The company earned $826 million, or $1.51 per diluted share, during the same quarter last year, according to a press release.

Total income was $1.32 billion in the second quarter of 2016, a drop of less than 2 percent from last year’s second quarter.

Findlay-based Marathon is the nation's third-largest refiner and can process up to 1.8 million barrels of crude oil per day. Additionally, the company owns Speedway convenience stores, thousands of miles of pipelines, gas processing plants and other facilities.

Gary R. Heminger, Marathon’s chairman, president and CEO, attributed the earnings to increased product demand during the summer, strong retail margins, improved profit margins on refined products and the inclusion of natural-gas processor MarkWest’s results in Marathon’s earnings. Marathon took over MarkWest in late 2015.

When asked how Shell’s planned construction of an ethane cracker in western Pennsylvania would impact Marathon’s business, officials said it could spur Marathon to make capital investments of up to $1 billion.

Marathon returned $221 million to shareholders during the quarter by paying dividends and buying back stock. On Wednesday, the company announced it was raising its quarterly dividend 12.5 percent to 36 cents a share.

Article reprinted with permission, Copyright 2016, Repository, Some rights reserved.

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