Marathon Pipe Line LLC has a rich and varied history that spans nearly 125 years.
Making its debut on Thanksgiving Day 1906, the first pipeline actually built by The Ohio Oil Company was eight inches in diameter and 191 miles long, running from Martinsville, Illinois, to Preble, Indiana, with a capacity of 34,000 barrels a day. By the end of 1906, Ohio Oil had linked 791 producing wells into a gathering system that was connected by pipeline to major refineries.
When James Donnell became president of Ohio Oil in 1911, the company was the biggest crude producer in the Standard Oil group, with a 561 mile pipeline from the Mississippi River to the Ohio-Pennsylvania line and several gathering pipelines. This was the year that the Supreme Court broke up the Standard Oil trust, and Ohio Oil became a stand alone corporation once again.
In reaction to the Supreme Court decision defining all pipelines as public carriers and subject to the authority of the Interstate Commerce Commission, Ohio Oil created the Illinois Pipe Line Company, spinning off the stock. It included 1,825 miles of eight and 10-inch pipelines, with a capacity of 70,000 barrels a day.
Ohio Oil replaced threaded pipe installation with welded pipe installation.
The original pipelines were paralleled by telegraph lines, which is how orders were communicated for regulating the flows from various tank farms. Telephones took over in 1923, followed by teletypewriters in the 1930s.
Ohio Oil bought back the Illinois Pipe Line Company and made it a subsidiary. Where Ohio Oil went, the Illinois Pipe Line followed; it was the lifeline to market not only in the Midwest but also in Texas and Wyoming. Notably, Illinois Pipeline was one of the first companies to use storage tanks with floating tops in its tank farms.
With the exception of operations in Texas, the Illinois Pipe Line Company was dissolved and became part of Ohio Oil's Pipeline Department.
Ohio Oil united with four other companies to construct a huge new crude line linking the Rocky Mountains with the Midwest. Ohio Oil was a 25 percent partner in the newly formed Platte Pipe Line Company, which had a capacity of 190,000 barrels a day.
Telegraphs and teletypewriters were replaced by a microwave transmission system to regulate the flow of pipelines.
The Ohio Oil created Marathon Pipe Line Company, a subsidiary. At this time, the company controlled the 14th largest pipeline network in the United States with total traffic of 417,000 barrels of crude and 27,000 barrels of refined products, not including the Platte Pipe Line or a 75 percent interest in the Wabash Pipe Line Company, a refined products carrier between Wood River, Illinois, and the Chicago, Illinois, market.
As one-third owner of The Oasis Oil Company at the time, Marathon Pipe Line engineers helped build the Sidrah Pipeline through Libya, facing extreme temperature fluctuations, shifting sands, and mines and unexploded ammunition left over from World War II.
The year that Ohio Oil Company became Marathon Oil Company, the new Pipeline Control Center was located in Findlay, Ohio. A single instrument panel controlled 1,500 miles of crude oil and products pipelines. Shortly thereafter, Marathon shifted those operations to three different pipeline control centers in: Martinsville, Illinois; Pasadena, Texas; and Casper, Wyoming.
Marathon Pipe Line took a substantial equity interest in building the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) in the Gulf of Mexico, the first offshore oil port for supertankers.
The Pipeline Control Centers were once again consolidated into one location in Findlay, Ohio.
Utilizing Marathon Pipe Line's technical expertise in another hostile environment, 74 miles of pipe were flawlessly laid in 55 days in 370 feet of water to connect Marathon's South Brae platform in the North Sea to an existing onshore pipeline.
After a year of construction, Marathon Pipe Line began operating Cardinal Pipeline, a 150-mile long 14-inch pipeline connecting Kenova, West Virginia, with Columbus, Ohio.
Marathon Pipe Line celebrated 100 years of pipeline operations.
Marathon Petroleum Corporation, with Marathon Pipe Line LLC as a wholly owned subsidiary, splits from Marathon Oil Company to form a new, independent downstream company.
Oct. 26, 2012, Marathon Petroleum Corporation launched MPLX LP (NYSE: MPLX), a midstream master limited partnership. MPLX has 51 percent interest in a network of common carrier crude oil and products pipeline assets located in the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions through Marathon Pipe Line LLC and Ohio River Pipe Line and a 100 percent interest in a butane cavern in West Virginia.
In 2015, MPLX merged with MarkWest, whereby MarkWest became a wholly owned subsidiary of MPLX. MarkWest is one of the largest processors of natural gas in the U.S. and the largest processor and fractionator in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. The company's midstream energy operations include: natural gas gathering, processing and transportation; NGL gathering, transportation, fractionation, storage and marketing; and crude oil and refined products transportation and storage. Its integrated midstream energy asset network links producers of natural gas, natural gas liquids and crude oil from some of the largest supply basins in the United States to domestic and international markets.