Home Energy assets Citgo ready to resume oil imports from Venezuela if the United States allows it – CEO

Citgo ready to resume oil imports from Venezuela if the United States allows it – CEO

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The Citgo Petroleum refinery is pictured in Sulfur, Louisiana, U.S., June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman/File Photo/File Photo

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CARACAS, July 8 (Reuters) – U.S. refiner Citgo Petroleum is ready to resume imports of Venezuelan crude, suspended since 2019 by Washington sanctions against its parent PDVSA, if the U.S. government allows the flow, the CEO said on Friday. from Citgo.

Since March, senior US and Venezuelan officials have engaged in political negotiations that could lead Washington to ease oil trade sanctions that have hit the OPEC country’s production and exports.

OPEC and the French government, representing Europe, have called on Washington to allow Venezuelan and Iranian crude to flow to consumer nations struggling to replace Russian energy supplies during the war in Ukraine.

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“To compete in this market, we need to buy the cheapest and most convenient crude,” Citgo CEO Carlos Jorda told an online conference about Venezuela’s foreign energy assets. “We should not be at a disadvantage” compared to other refiners.

Citgo did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

In May, President Joe Biden’s administration allowed European firms Eni (ENI.MI) and Repsol (REP.MC) to resume imports of Venezuelan crude, which helped boost oil exports last month. country at more than 600,000 barrels per day.

Chevron Corp (CVX.N), the last U.S. producer operating in Venezuela, is also seeking permission from the U.S. Treasury Department to ship Venezuelan oil to the United States and even gain operational control of its joint ventures.

“If authorized (Venezuelan) crude arrives on the U.S. Gulf Coast without penalties at competitive prices, especially if it is heavy crude, we will definitely have to assess it,” said Horacio Medina, president of a board of directors overseeing Citgo, at the same conference. .

“I see no reason to be radically closed to this,” he added.

Citgo, whose first-quarter profit grew more than 10-fold from a year ago to $245 million on higher crude processing volumes and soaring fuel prices, plans to release its second-quarter results in the coming week, Jorda said.

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Reporting by Deisy Buitrago, writing by Marianna Parraga; Editing by David Gregorio

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