USX Corp. and Ashland Inc. said Thursday that they will combine their oil-refining, marketing and transportation operations in a bid to cut costs in the competitive and profit-squeezed industry.
The move is the latest by major oil firms to try to bolster results in refining and marketing. Shell Oil Co. and Texaco Inc., for example, recently announced a joint venture.
Under the deal, USX's USX-Marathon Group subsidiary would own a 62% stake in the venture, which would include Ashland's refinery-produced petrochemicals. Ashland, Ky.-based Ashland would own 38%.
The firms said they expect the joint venture to result in substantial benefits through joining operations and other efficiency efforts. There are no plans to close major plants, but any future decisions about that will depend on business conditions, they said.