Murphy Oil Corporation
) continues with its systematic U.K. asset divestment program. The
company announced that its unit Murco Petroleum Limited (Murco) has
inked an agreement with Motor Fuel Group to sell the retail
gasoline assets to the latter. The transaction is expected to
complete by Sep 30, 2014.
Murphy Oil is currently focusing on exploration and production
activities in the U.S. as well as maintaining its mineral-rich
international sites. After spinning off the U.S. retail marketing
division and selling its U.K.-based oil and gas properties, the
company is in the process of divesting its U.K. refining and
On Jul 31, 2014, Murco had entered into an agreement with Klesch
Refinery, Ltd. to sell its Milford Haven refinery and terminal
assets to the latter. The company will discontinue this operation
primarily due to weak operating margins. Subject to customary
approvals, the deal will likely close no later than Oct 31, 2014.
During 2013, Murphy Oil sold its oil and gas assets in the U.K. The
company had completed the spin-off of its U.S. downstream
subsidiary, Murphy Oil USA, Inc., in Sep 2013. It is currently
trading on the New York Stock Exchange as Murphy USA Inc. (
The streamlining of the business will allow Murphy Oil to focus
more on its strategic goals, while improving the cost structure,
maintaining robust margins and maximizing shareholder value.
Murphy Oil is currently in the middle of multiple exploration and
production ventures, including Titan-1 / ST and Urca in the Gulf of
Mexico, Sarawak and Block K in Malaysia and Perth Basin in
Australia. The company has invested $969.1 million in capital
expenditure in the second quarter of the $3,800 million earmarked
for 2014. Despite having a solid cash balance of $661.1 million as
of Jun 30, 2014, the strategic asset sale will enable the company
to accumulate more funds for future projects.
Murphy Oil currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, other
better-ranked stocks from the industry include ConocoPhillips (
) and Hess Corporation (
), each with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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