Murphy Oil to spin off US downstream business

By MELODIE WARNER

Murphy Oil’s board approved the spinoff of its US downstream unit, Murphy Oil USA Inc., as the company intends to focus on exploration and production activities in the US, Canada and Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Murphy Oil reaffirmed its plan to sell the UK downstream operations and said it will continue to review possible options for selected assets.

Several energy companies have announced plans to split apart recently to focus on their core operations.

Earlier this month, Murphy Oil said it was meeting with Third Point LLC - a hedge fund run by Dan Loeb that had accumulated a "significant stake" and had recently filed for regulatory approval to increase that position, if it desired.

Third Point had spelled out a four-step process for the energy company that included a spinoff of the retail business, selling its Canadian natural gas assets, completely exiting the UK refining business and selling its 5% stake in Syncrude oil sands projects.

Murphy Oil on Tuesday said it expects to complete the spinoff of Murphy USA in 2013.

Murphy USA’s business will consist of retail marketing of petroleum products, a chain of retail gasoline stations, seven product distribution terminals and two ethanol production facilities in North Dakota and Texas.


Dow Jones Newswires

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