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Meeting Demands for Shareholder Clarity

Deloitte Client Spotlight

"We strive to be more efficient, more effective, and create greater shareholder value in everything we do."

-Janet Clark, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Marathon Oil Corporation (retired 10/13)

Going further, doing more: drilling data to unearth shareholder value

Growth just for the sake of it means little to oil industry shareholders. Instead, they want to invest in companies whose growth initiatives are strategic and measurable from an economic perspective. In a battle with industry heavyweights to win these shareholders, Marathon Oil examined its asset portfolio and decided to split the company in two – creating an exploration and production (E&P) arm [Marathon Oil Corporation] and a refining arm [Marathon Petroleum Corporation]. “We were thinking about how we could create greater value for our shareholders,” says Janet Clark, former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Marathon Oil Corporation. “Separating the company into two independent, publicly traded entities made sound financial sense.”

The move was not without its challenges. Marathon Oil soon found that the increasingly dynamic needs for highly integrated data of its E&P business were not being met.

Achieving agility through one version of the truth
Clark knew that to truly satisfy investors, the company needed to deliver more E&P information, more quickly. However, financial reporting in its current SAP environment suffered from a lack of integration, lengthy overnight batch loads and on-line queries, and tedious report reconciliations. Marathon Oil needed access to highly integrated data to adjust its portfolio and quickly understand the impact any changes would have on the bottom line.

In addition to upgrading existing ERP and reporting solutions, the transition to SAP HANA, with its ability to dramatically improve the speed and depth of analysis when working with large-scale volumes of data, would provide the needed transparency, granularity, and user interface. Initially hesitant to be one of the first in the industry to deploy this platform, Marathon gained confidence when they decided to work with Deloitte.

“Deloitte was an obvious choice for us because of their deep knowledge of Marathon, but also their understanding of our industry. We felt that both SAP and Deloitte wanted to make this project a success, and they brought the resources necessary to enable that success,” says Clark. As a result, Clark and team understood the risks and rewards beforehand, so they could proceed with clear expectations.

Today, Marathon’s business and portfolio look very different. The company is achieving greater reporting clarity on an individual asset level, improved efficiency through standardized, real-time reports, and increased growth with an expanded inventory of resource plays in the United States. Together, Deloitte and SAP helped Marathon Oil create a reporting system that supports each arm and provides one version of the truth. Now, Marathon Oil can quickly respond to changes in a nimble E&P environment and share information with investors on a much more granular level.

Download Marathon Client Spotlight Story

As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

Impacts from transformation:

  • Greater reporting clarity
  • Improved efficiency
  • Increased growth rate

"Deloitte was an obvious choice for us because of their deep knowledge of Marathon, but also their understanding of our industry."

- Janet Clark

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