Careers at Marathon Oil


Marathon Oil’s mission is to create value by responsibly producing oil and natural gas vital to meeting the world’s growing energy needs.

Business segments

Marathon Oil is a petroleum and natural gas exploration and production company. The firm operates three reportable business segments based on geography:

  • North America Exploration and Production (E&P) – Explores for, produces, and markets crude oil and condensate, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) in North America.
  • International E&P – Explores for, produces, and markets crude oil and condensate, natural gas, and NGLs outside of North America and produces and markets products manufactured from natural gas, such as methanol and liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Equatorial Guinea.
  • Oil Sands Mining – Mines, extracts, and transports bitumen from oil sands deposits in Alberta, Canada, and upgrades the bitumen to produce and market synthetic crude oil and vacuum gas oil.


In 1887 businessman Henry M. Erst founded The Ohio Oil Company in Lima, OH, at the time the United State’s top location for crude oil production. In 1889 the firm was purchased by Standard Oil. By 1908, it had established itself as a major player, controlling half of the field production in three states. However, in 1911 it became independent again when Standard Oil was broken up.

Ohio Oil began diversifying from oil production to refining. In 1930 it purchased Transcontinental Oil Company, which had fields in Texas, and acquired its “Marathon” brand name for some products. In 1962, it changed its name to Marathon Oil Company. At this point it still primarily operated in North America, with some production in Nigeria and Libya as well as wholesaling and refining in Europe.

In 1982 Marathon Oil was purchased by United States Steel Corporation. In 1986 it was reorganized, along with U.S. Steel, as part of USX Corporation. It then expanded its market share and  scope by merging some of its operations with those of Ashland, Inc. In 2002 USX changed its name to Marathon Oil Corporation, after divesting U.S. Steel. For a decade it grew through many acquisitions.

For the next decade Marathon Oil grew through several acquisitions, including Western Oil and Khanty Mansiysk Oil. In 2011 the firm’s upstream (exploration and production) and downstream (refining and marketing) segments separated into two companies:  Marathon Oil Corporation and Marathon Petroleum Corporation, respectively. Marathon Petroleum was later spun off.

Benefits at Marathon Oil

Business model of Marathon Oil

Customer Segments

Marathon has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company targets its offerings at industrial firms that need petroleum and natural gas.

Value Proposition

Marathon offers three primary value propositions: innovation, risk reduction, and brand/status.

The company places a strong emphasis on innovation. It operates a division called Technology that develops solutions to maximize its assets and explores technologies that can facilitate new resource capture. Specific areas of focus are Information Management, Seismic Imaging, Petrophysics, Reservoir Management, Drilling and Completions, Production Optimization, and Oil Sands.

The company reduces risk by maintaining high safety and security standards. It aims to engage in responsible energy production by minimizing environmental risks. Specific steps taken including utilizing natural resources in an efficient manner and reducing potential effects on air, water, land, and wildlife. It also operates the Management System, a program through which it articulates its devotion to environmental stewardship and establishes performances objectives and action plans.

The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It has a worldwide presence, maintaining operations in four regions: Africa, Middle East, Europe, and North America.


Marathon’s main channel is its direct sales team. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, and participation in trade shows and conferences.

Customer Relationships

Marathon’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its products while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website includes informational videos. That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of phone and e-mail support.

Key Activities

Marathon’s business model entails exploring for, producing, and distributing petroleum and natural gas products.

Key Partners

Marathon’s key partners are the suppliers who provide materials and equipment the company needs as part of the exploration and production process, as well as contractors.

Key Resources

Marathon’s main resources are its reserves of proved crude oil and condensate, NGLs, natural gas and synthetic crude oil. The company also places a strong emphasis on its intellectual property, and holds a number of issued and pending U.S. and foreign patents.

Cost Structure

Marathon has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is production expenses. Other major cost drivers are in the areas of exploration, sales/marketing, and administration.

Revenue Streams

Marathon has one revenue stream: revenues it generates from the sales of its petroleum and natural gas products to customers. Sales typically occur through the signing of long-term contracts.

Our team

Lee M. Tillman,
President and CEO

info: Lee M. Tillman earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Auburn University. He previously held various leadership roles at ExxonMobil, including VP of Engineering at ExxonMobil Development Company.

T.M. Little,
EVP, Operations

info: T.M. Little earned a B.S. degree in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Wyoming. He previously held a number of leadership roles at Marathon, including General Manager, Worldwide Drilling and Completions and Managing Director of Marathon Oil Norge AS.

Sylvia J. Kerrigan,
EVP, General Counsel and Secretary

info: Sylvia J. Kerrigan earned a B.A. in Philosophy, Political Economy, and English at Southwestern University and a JD at the University of Texas. She previously served as Assistant General Counsel for litigation, HR, and environmental law at Marathon.

Bruce A. Mccullough,
VP, Technology and Innovation and Chief Information Officer

info: Bruce A. Mccullough earned a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science at Baylor University. He previously served as Director, Global Business Systems at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and as a partner at Accenture.