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Marathon Petroleum Corporation and MPLX LP Present Long-Term Strategic Priorities to Create Shareholder Value

  • Grow higher-valued, stable cash flow businesses: MPLX and Speedway
  • Improve margins in refining operations
  • Balance capital returns with value-enhancing investments
  • Sustain focus on shareholder returns
  • Maintain top-tier safety and environmental performance

NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2013 - Executives from Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) and MPLX LP (MPLX) today outlined the companies` strategic priorities at the MPC and MPLX 2013 Analyst & Investor Day.

MPC President and CEO Gary R. Heminger, who also is chairman and CEO of MPLX, highlighted MPC`s greater emphasis on growing stable earnings from the company`s midstream and retail businesses to balance earnings and cash flow from its refining and marketing segment. "We recognize that earnings volatility is an issue for long-term investors, and we are addressing that by growing more aggressively the segments of our business that produce more stable cash flows," Heminger said.

He added that the company`s Refining & Marketing segment will capitalize on evolving market conditions and likely remain the predominant cash flow generator for the company in the near-term. "We will continue to make investments in refining assets to capture margin improvement opportunities and optimize our operations. Such investments will include conversion projects and light sweet crude processing capabilities," he said.

"We are making meaningful changes in the way we allocate growth capital," Heminger emphasized. "This approach should result in more stable cash flows. Our future performance will reflect the results of our strategy to reposition our portfolio to focus on higher-valued businesses. We believe this will enhance returns to shareholders through an improved combination of growth from our midstream and retail businesses and substantial free cash flow from our refining operations."

MPC Sr. Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Don Templin emphasized the company`s balanced approach to business investment and capital returns, and provided investors with a look at the company`s 2014-2016 capital investment profile. Templin noted that over the next three years, MPC expects to invest $640 million in midstream assets that are a part of its Refining & Marketing segment; $2.4 billion in Pipeline Transportation, including MPLX; and $925 million on growing the Speedway convenience store segment. This represents a $2.4 billion increase compared with the amount spent on these segments during the previous three-year period.

Templin also pointed out that MPC intends to return 100 percent of its through-cycle free cash flow to shareholders via dividends and share repurchases. "Our sharp focus on shareholder returns since becoming a publicly traded company in July 2011 has resulted in cumulative capital returns of $4.6 billion through the third quarter of this year," said Templin. "This is strong evidence of our commitment to return capital to shareholders through all business cycles, and that commitment continues."

A key component of MPC`s strategy will be MPLX, the master limited partnership formed by MPC in October 2012 to be the primary vehicle for MPC to own, operate and grow its midstream business. Garry Peiffer, president of MPLX and executive vice president at MPC, provided insight into MPLX`s strategy for sustained, long-term growth. The partnership will focus on fee-based businesses, pursuing organic growth opportunities and also growing through acquisitions, including drop-downs from MPC`s substantial and expanding portfolio of midstream assets. Peiffer also reiterated that MPLX intends to grow distributions at an annual rate of 15 to 20 percent for at least the next several years.

Peiffer provided an in-depth look at MPLX`s opportunities, as growing North American hydrocarbon production requires new transportation and logistics options. One of the biggest areas of opportunity is the Bakken Shale oil region. While noting potential drop-downs from MPC to MPLX, Peiffer pointed out that MPC has recently committed to be an anchor shipper on Enbridge`s Sandpiper and Southern Access Extension pipeline projects, providing MPC additional access to growing crude oil production from this region. These commitments provide MPC the opportunity to acquire equity interests in these major pipeline projects. Peiffer also highlighted another pipeline opportunity in eastern Ohio, where MPLX is evaluating right of way options to construct a $140 million pipeline to connect Utica Shale production in southeastern Ohio to MPC`s refinery in Canton, Ohio.

Speedway LLC President Tony Kenney provided an overview of Speedway`s top-tier performance in the convenience store industry. "This past year, we increased same-store sales and experienced higher gasoline and distillate gross margins," said Kenney, who also outlined capital expenditures and Speedway`s expansion into new regions. "Our new locations in Pennsylvania and Tennessee demonstrate investments in Speedway`s business to provide for accelerated growth in contiguous markets. We are evaluating opportunities for further organic growth and acquisitions. Speedway is on a path to generate as much as $1 billion in EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] annually by 2020."

Other presenters at the Analyst & Investor Day event were MPC Sr. Vice President of Supply, Distribution and Planning Mike Palmer and MPC Sr. Vice President of Refining Rich Bedell. Palmer summarized the company`s views on expanding crude oil supply in Canada, the Bakken, Eagle Ford, and Utica Shale regions, as well as refined product demand and export prospects. Bedell provided insight into the company`s refining operations and processing capabilities and reviewed projects to optimize distillate production and exports. Bedell also highlighted several margin enhancement projects across the company`s seven-refinery system, including a special focus on the newly acquired Galveston Bay refinery and a project being evaluated at the Garyville refinery to convert heavy residual oil into ultra-low sulfur diesel.

Heminger said that one of the primary drivers of MPC`s and MPLX`s success is their focus on ensuring their operations are safe and environmentally sound, noting that these constitute the companies` license to operate. With that commitment in mind, Heminger said MPC will continue its focus on top-tier financial performance through all business cycles, and will continue to pursue growth opportunities in higher-valued businesses that should provide more stable earnings and cash flows.

"Our path ahead is clear, as are the rewards," Heminger concluded. "We are enthusiastic about the future for MPC and MPLX. As we continue to reposition our asset portfolio, we will remain unrelenting in our goal of driving shareholder value through disciplined investments and returning capital to our shareholders."

2014 Capital Expenditures

The company`s 2014 capital expenditures and investments will be directed toward projects that take advantage of increasing domestic light sweet crude production; increase the company`s distillate yield; expand its export capacity; grow its Pipeline Transportation segment, including MPLX; and grow Speedway`s retail presence.

2014 MPC Budget ($MM)  
Refining and Marketing (R&M) $             864
Midstream included in R&M              348
Speedway              327
Pipeline Transportation(a)              760
Corporate and Other              133
Total Capital Expenditures & Investments(b) $          2,432
(a) including MPLX (100 percent basis)
(b) excludes associated capitalized interest
2014 MPLX Budget ($MM) (100 percent basis)  
Growth $             113
Maintenance                35
Total Capital Expenditures & Investments(a) $             148
(a) excludes associated capitalized interest  

Webcast Available

Replays of the presentation audio and accompanying slides will be available until Dec. 18 on the MPC website at http://ir.marathonpetroleum.com and the MPLX website at http://ir.mplx.com.

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About Marathon Petroleum Corporation

MPC is the nation`s fourth-largest refiner, with a crude oil refining capacity of approximately 1.7 million barrels per calendar day in its seven-refinery system. Marathon brand gasoline is sold through approximately 5,100 independently owned retail outlets across 18 states. In addition, Speedway LLC, an MPC subsidiary, owns and operates the nation`s fourth-largest convenience store chain, with approximately 1,470 convenience stores in nine states. MPC also owns, leases or has ownership interests in approximately 8,300 miles of pipeline. Through subsidiaries, MPC owns the general partner of MPLX LP, a midstream master limited partnership. MPC`s fully integrated system provides operational flexibility to move crude oil, feedstocks and petroleum-related products efficiently through the company`s distribution network in the Midwest, Southeast and Gulf Coast regions. For additional information about the company, please visit our website at http://www.marathonpetroleum.com.


MPLX is a fee-based, growth-oriented master limited partnership formed in 2012 by Marathon Petroleum Corporation to own, operate, develop and acquire pipelines and other midstream assets related to the transportation and storage of crude oil, refined products and other hydrocarbon-based products. Headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, MPLX`s assets consist of a majority equity interest in a network of common carrier crude oil and products pipeline assets located in the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions of the United States and a 100 percent interest in a butane storage cavern located in West Virginia. For more information about MPLX, please visit http://www.mplx.com.

Investor Relations Contacts:
Pamela Beall (419) 429-5640
Beth Hunter (419) 421-2559
Geri Ewing (419) 421-2071

Media Contacts:
Angelia Graves (419) 421-2703
Brandon Daniels (419) 421-3127

Forward-looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, MPC and MPLX expectations, estimates and projections concerning the respective businesses and operations of MPC and MPLX. You can identify forward-looking statements by words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "project," "could," "may," "should," "would," "will" or other similar expressions that convey the uncertainty of future events or outcomes. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond the companies` control and are difficult to predict. Factors that could cause MPC actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include: the ability to successfully implement growth strategies and capture the benefit of market opportunities; impacts from repurchases of shares of MPC common stock under share repurchase authorizations, including the timing and amounts of any common stock repurchases; the ability to realize the strategic benefits of the Sandpiper, Southern Access Extension and other pipeline projects; volatility in and/or degradation of market and industry conditions; the availability and pricing of crude oil and other feedstocks; the reliability of processing units; state and federal environmental, economic, health and safety, energy and other policies and regulations; other risk factors inherent to the industry; and the factors set forth under the heading "Risk Factors" in MPC`s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2012, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Copies of MPC`s Form 10-K are available on the SEC website, MPC`s website at http://ir.marathonpetroleum.com or by contacting MPC`s Investor Relations office.  Factors that could cause MPLX actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include: the ability to successfully implement growth strategies, whether through organic growth or acquisitions; the adequacy of MPLX capital resources and liquidity, including the availability of sufficient cash flow to pay distributions and execute business plans; the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices and demand for crude oil, refined products, feedstocks or other hydrocarbon-based products; completion of pipeline capacity by competitors; disruptions due to equipment interruption or failure; the suspension, reduction or termination of MPC`s obligations under commercial agreements; state and federal environmental, economic, health and safety, energy and other policies and regulations; other risk factors inherent to the industry; and the factors set forth under the heading "Risk Factors" in MPLX`s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2012, filed with the SEC.  Copies of MPLX`s Form 10-K are available on the SEC website, MPLX`s website at http://ir.mplx.com or by contacting MPLX`s Investor Relations Office. In addition, the forward-looking statements included herein could be affected by general domestic and international economic and political conditions. Unpredictable or unknown factors not discussed here or in MPC`s Form 10-K or MPLX`s Form 10-K could also have material adverse effects on forward-looking statements.

MPC & MPLX Strategic Priorities

This announcement is distributed by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients.

The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: MPLX LP via GlobeNewswire