El Dorado, Arkansas -- Murphy Oil is splitting in two in order to better focus on the separate tasks of exploration and production, and the sale of gasoline and other goods through its retail locations.
Murphy will continue to explore for and produce oil in the U.S., Canada and Malaysia. Murphy USA will become a separate company in charge of retail sales. Assets will include seven product distribution terminals and ethanol production facilities in North Dakota and Texas.
Murphy is extending a trend in the U.S. oil industry. Conoco and Marathon have executed similar splits recently.
Murphy also announced special dividend of $2.50 per share a stock buyback program covering $1 billion in common shares. Shares of Murphy Oil Corp., based in El Dorado, Ark., rose $3.49 to $62.49 in morning trading.