Marathon Petroleum Profit Soars on Strong Fuel Demand

Marathon Petroleum Profit Soars on Strong Fuel Demand
Cargo shipping containers, surrounded by storage tanks for refined petroleum products, are seen at Marathon Petroleum's Los Angeles Refinery, in Carson, Calif., on March 11, 2022. (Bing Guan/Reuters)

Marathon Petroleum smashed quarterly profit estimates on Tuesday, the latest U.S. refiner to benefit from a surge in fuel prices sparked by tight capacity and low inventories.

The company's refining and marketing margins tripled to $37.54 per barrel in the April-June quarter, mirroring similar gains at rivals such as Phillips 66 and sending Marathon's shares 4 percent higher in premarket trading.

Global refining capacity has declined in the past two years because the pandemic-driven demand hit forced several less profitable operations to shut shop, while Western sanctions against Russia have tightened an already-supplied market.

Marathon's refineries ran at nearly full capacity in the second quarter, resulting in a total throughput of 3.1 million barrels per day (bpd), compared with utilization of 94 percent and a total throughput of 2.9 million bpd a year earlier.

For the third quarter, the company expects a throughput of 2.9 million bpd.

The company posted an adjusted income of $5.69 billion, or $10.61 per share, the largest in at least five years, according to Refinitiv data. The figure sailed past the average analyst estimate of $8.04 per share.

By Arunima Kumar
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