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HOUSTON -- Marathon Oil Corp. is preparing to operate as an independent upstream company as the clock ticks down to the official spin-off of its downstream business. The move becomes effective at 11:59 p.m. tonight.
In advance of the split, Marathon Oil unveiled its new logo -- an abstracted tri-color energy wave that symbolizes the momentum resulting from its upstream activity as well as the drive and innovation of the company's employee, according to a Marathon release.
The hunt for a new logo began with employee surveys in February, shortly after the company revealed its plan to split into two independent businesses. The existing Marathon hexagon shield will be used by Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC), the company added.
In addition to a new logo, Marathon expects to go live with a new corporate Website, www.marathonoil.com, July 1.
In May, Marathon Oil's board of directors approved the spinoff of MPC, Marathon's downstream business, to create two independent energy companies. The refiner will continue to operate under the name Marathon Petroleum Corp. and be based out of Findlay, Ohio. However, it will be completely independent from Marathon Oil, which won't own any shares in it. It will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol, MPC, as CSNews Online reported.
The move, according to a report in Houston Chronicle, represents a new era for the company that began 125 years ago as Ohio Oil Co. and grew to become the fourth largest U.S. integrated energy company behind Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips.
"Look, I wanted this done three years ago, not because I wanted to run a smaller company. Not many people would want to do that," Marathon Oil CEO Clarence Cazalot told the Chronicle. "But because I was absolutely convinced that this is the right thing for both companies, the right thing for our shareholders, the right thing for our employees."
MPC will now become the nation's fifth-largest refiner and will control a network of pipelines, storage terminals and Speedway brand fuel stations. Because most of Marathon's corporate functions, such as legal, accounting and information technology, have been in Houston, the new company had to hire more than 100 people, including a new chief financial officer. Cazalot said the split won't affect most of the workers who had been with the old company, including 1,500 in Houston, the newspaper reported.
The new company is "very excited about our future," incoming CEO Gary Heminger said in a statement to the Chronicle.