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Marathon Petroleum Business Model Canvas

Marathon Petroleum Business Model Canvas
Photo by Ehud Neuhaus, Edited by Grey Knight

A Brief History of Marathon Petroleum

Marathon Petroleum Corporation is an American petroleum refining, marketing, and transportation company that was founded in 1887 as the Ohio Oil Company in Findlay, Ohio. The company’s early years were marked by growth and expansion, as it acquired several smaller oil companies and expanded its operations into other states.

In 1930, the company merged with the Transcontinental Oil Company to form the Marathon Oil Company. Throughout the 20th century, Marathon continued to expand its refining and marketing operations, and in 1998, it became an independent company after splitting from its parent company, USX Corporation.

In 2011, Marathon Oil Corporation spun off its refining and marketing operations to form Marathon Petroleum Corporation, a separate entity focused solely on downstream operations. Since then, Marathon Petroleum has continued to grow and expand its operations, acquiring several other refineries and expanding its presence in the United States.

Today, Marathon Petroleum Corporation is one of the largest petroleum refining, marketing, and transportation companies in the United States, with operations in over 20 states and a significant presence in the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions. The company continues to be a major player in the petroleum industry, with a strong focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Who Owns Marathon Petroleum?

Marathon Petroleum Corporation is owned by a combination of institutional investors, mutual funds, and individual shareholders. The company’s top shareholders include Vanguard Group, BlackRock, State Street Corporation, and Wellington Management Company. Other notable shareholders include Fidelity Investments, Capital International Investors, and T. Rowe Price. These top 10 shareholders collectively hold a significant stake in Marathon Petroleum Corporation, representing a diverse range of investment firms and individuals who have a vested interest in the company’s success.

Marathon Petroleum Mission Statement

Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s mission is to be the industry leader in refining, marketing, and transportation of energy products. They are committed to creating value for their customers, employees, and shareholders by conducting business in a safe, environmentally responsible, and efficient manner. Through innovation, efficiency, and integrity, Marathon Petroleum Corporation strives to meet the energy needs of the global market while upholding its commitment to corporate social responsibility.

How Marathon Petroleum Makes Money?

Marathon Petroleum Corporation operates as a downstream energy company, focusing on refining, marketing, and transporting petroleum products. The company makes money primarily through the sale of refined products, including gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, as well as various chemicals and specialty products. Marathon also generates revenue from its pipeline and transport operations, as well as through its retail and wholesale marketing businesses. Additionally, the company has investments in midstream infrastructure, allowing for further revenue streams from transportation and storage services. Overall, Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s business model centers around the refining and distribution of petroleum products and related services, resulting in a diverse and sustainable revenue stream.

Marathon Petroleum Business Model Canvas

The business model canvas is a strategic management tool that provides a visual framework for developing, refining, and documenting a business idea or concept. It consists of 9 key building blocks that help to establish a clear understanding of how a company intends to create, deliver, and capture value. These building blocks include Customer Segments, Value Propositions, Channels, Customer Relationships, Revenue Streams, Key Resources, Key Activities, Key Partners, and Cost Structure.

Customer Segments:

1. Consumer Fleet: Marathon Petroleum Corporation serves individual consumers through their network of gas stations and convenience stores.
2. Industrial and Wholesale Customers: The company also provides fuel and other petroleum products to industrial and wholesale customers such as airlines, shipping companies, and trucking fleets.
3. Refiners and Producers: Marathon Petroleum Corporation also works with other refiners and producers in the oil and gas industry.

Value Propositions:

1. High-Quality Products: Marathon Petroleum Corporation offers high-quality fuel and petroleum-based products to its customers.
2. Convenience: The company provides convenience through its network of gas stations and convenience stores, making it easier for customers to purchase fuel and other products.
3. Environmental Responsibility: Marathon Petroleum Corporation is committed to sustainability and environmental responsibility, offering eco-friendly fuel options and continually working to minimize its environmental impact.


1. Gas Stations: Marathon Petroleum Corporation sells its products through its network of gas stations and convenience stores.
2. Wholesale and Industrial Sales: The company also distributes its petroleum products through wholesale and industrial channels to its customers in various industries.

Customer Relationships:

1. Personalized Customer Service: Marathon Petroleum Corporation strives to provide exceptional customer service at its gas stations and convenience stores for individual consumers.
2. Business-to-Business Relationships: The company maintains strong relationships with its industrial and wholesale customers, providing personalized support and solutions to meet their specific needs.

Revenue Streams:

1. Retail Sales: Revenue is generated through the sale of petroleum products, convenience store items, and other services at the company’s gas stations.
2. Wholesale and Industrial Sales: Marathon Petroleum Corporation earns revenue from the sale of its products to industrial and wholesale customers.

Key Resources:

1. Refineries: The company’s refineries are crucial resources for processing crude oil into high-quality petroleum products.
2. Distribution Network: Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s extensive distribution network helps to transport and deliver its products to various customer segments.

Key Activities:

1. Refining: The process of refining crude oil into various petroleum products is a key activity for the company.
2. Sales and Marketing: Marathon Petroleum Corporation engages in sales and marketing activities to promote and distribute its products.

Key Partners:

1. Suppliers: The company partners with suppliers to source crude oil and other materials necessary for its operations.
2. Retail Partners: Marathon Petroleum Corporation collaborates with operators of its gas stations and convenience stores to maintain and expand its retail presence.

Cost Structure:

1. Refining Costs: The company incurs costs related to the energy, labor, and materials required for refining processes.
2. Distribution Costs: Marathon Petroleum Corporation invests in a robust distribution network, incurring costs related to transportation and logistics.

Marathon Petroleum’s Competitors

Marathon Petroleum Corporation faces fierce competition in the oil and gas industry from several major companies. Its top competitors include ExxonMobil, Chevron Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, and Phillips 66. These companies all have a strong presence in the energy market and compete with Marathon Petroleum Corporation in various segments including refining, marketing, and transportation of petroleum products. With the constant evolution of the industry, Marathon Petroleum Corporation must continually innovate and adapt to stay competitive against these formidable rivals.

Marathon Petroleum SWOT Analysis


1. Strong market presence and brand recognition
2. Diversified operations in refining, marketing, and transportation
3. Extensive distribution and logistics network
4. Strong financial performance and large revenue
5. Strong focus on research and development


1. Vulnerability to fluctuations in oil prices
2. Environmental and regulatory challenges
3. Dependence on the domestic market
4. Limited diversification in renewable energy sources
5. High operating and production costs


1. Expansion into international markets
2. Growth in renewable energy sources and sustainable practices
3. Increasing demand for petrochemical products
4. Strategic partnerships and acquisitions
5. Investment in advanced technology for efficiency and sustainability


1. Volatility in global oil markets
2. Increasing competition in the industry
3. Stringent environmental regulations
4. Economic and geopolitical uncertainties
5. Shifting consumer preferences towards alternative energy sources

Concluding Analysis

In summary, the business model of Marathon Petroleum Corporation is built on diversification, integration, and efficiency. By leveraging its strong refining, marketing, and midstream assets, the company has been able to weather various market conditions and deliver value to its shareholders. Looking ahead, I am optimistic about the future of the business. With its strategic initiatives to optimize its portfolio and streamline its operations, Marathon Petroleum is poised for long-term success. Additionally, its commitment to sustainability and innovation will position the company to meet the evolving energy needs of the future. As an analyst, I believe that Marathon Petroleum Corporation is well-positioned to capitalize on opportunities and navigate potential challenges, making it a promising investment for the future.

Additional Resources

To keep learning and advancing your career, we highly recommend these additional resources:

Business Model Canvas of The Top 1,000 Largest Companies by Market Cap in 2024

A List of 1000 Venture Capital Firms & Investors with LinkedIn Profiles

Peter Thiel and the 16 Unicorns: The Legacy of Thiel Fellowship

9 Biggest IPOs of All Time

List of Fortune 500 Companies in 2023

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