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Marathon Petroleum reports third quarter loss as COVID-19 dents fuel demand


(Reuters) – Marathon Petroleum Corp MPC.N reported a quarterly loss on Monday, hit by $525 million in charges and a coronavirus-led slump in fuel demand.

Oil refiners around the world have been forced to cut production, as they struggle with months of lackluster demand after coronavirus lockdowns wrecked the need for travel.

While demand picked up in the third quarter with the easing of restrictions, the resurgence in COVID-19 infections could lead to renewed lockdowns and derail demand recovery.

“Despite some recovery, global demand for our products and services remains significantly below historical levels, which continues to pressure profitability for both our company and the industry,” said Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Hennigan.

The company’s refinery capacity utilization in the third-quarter was 84%, excluding idled facilities, up from 71% in the second quarter, but still below last year’s 98%.

Findlay, Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum said net loss attributable to the company stood at $1.02 billion, or $1.57 per share, for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to a profit $1.1 billion, or $1.66 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it posted a loss of $1 per share.

Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

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