Marathon Refining Spin-Off Debuts Friday

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Marathon Oil's refining unit will debut as a separate, publicly traded entity on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday under the name Marathon Petroleum Corp. Texas-based Marathon announced the spin-off earlier this year and the refining business will become the second-largest independent refiner in the U.S.

The refiner is valued at $14.7 billion in unofficial trading permitted by exchanges to help investors gauge demand, according to Bloomberg News. Texas-based Valero Energy (VLO) is the largest U.S. refiner by capacity.

Marathon (MRO) had wanted to spin the business off in 2009, but those plans were scuttled due to the financial crisis. Marathon itself is the product of a spin-off having formerly been part of U.S. Steel (X) until a 2002 spin-off.

Marathon Petroleum, which will be based in Ohio, could be a candidate to purchase BP's (BP) Texas city refinery, which the British oil giant is looking to sell, Bloomberg reported. Texas City is the third-largest refinery in the U.S. with capacity of 475,000 barrels per day.