Marathon Oil Corp.'s quarterly profit missed analysts' estimates on Feb. 12, as tumbling oil and gas prices more than offset the benefits of robust U.S. shale production.
Marathon's results mirrored weaker earnings across the sector, as prices of global crude fell in the quarter on oversupply and demand concerns, fueled by fears of slowing global economic growth.
The company said average realized prices for crude oil and condensate in the United States fell 2.1% to $54.83 per barrel.
The company, which expects its 2020 capital budget to be $2.4 billion, forecast U.S. oil production growth of 6% in 2020. For the first quarter, Marathon forecast U.S. oil production between 192,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of oil and 202,000 bbl/d.
The company added that its 2020 international gas production would be impacted by scheduled maintenance activity in Equatorial Guinea during the fourth quarter.
Total production rose marginally to 413,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in the fourth quarter. U.S. production rose 7.2% to 328,000 boe/d.
The company's adjusted income fell to $55 million, or 7 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $121 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average expected a profit of 10 cents per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Marathon Oil has oil-rich positions in the Bakken, Permian Basin, Stack/Scoop and Eagle Ford Shale plays.
Activist investor Elliott Management offered to buy oil and gas producer QEP Resources in an all-cash deal valued at $2.07 billion, saying that the company is "deeply undervalued."
Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser says his company is looking to acquire natural gas assets in the U.S. and is willing to spend "billions of dollars" there as it aims to become a global gas player.
Canyon Capital Advisors has warned it would vote against the sale of Rowan to rival Ensco, casting doubt on a combination that had signaled optimism about the future of offshore exploration.