The days of Citgo may be winding down as Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA looks to sell its Citgo Petroleum unit if it receives a good offer, Petroleum Minister Rafael Ramirez said this week.
"As soon as we receive a proposal that serves our interests, we will exit Citgo," Ramirez said during a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Venezuela's oil production. "This is not something simple like deciding to take off a jacket, this is an issue that we're working on."
Citgo's assets in the U.S. includes three refineries, which have a combined capacity of 750,000 barrels per day. They are in Lemont, Illinois, Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Corpus Christi, Texas.
Finding a buyer may be a bit tricky for Citgo, as two of its three refineries are set up to run heavy Venezuelan crudes while many U.S. refineries are looking to run cheap domestic or Canadian crudes. Only Citgo's refinery in Lemont has good access to the cheaper crude.
On the other hand, Citgo owns quite a few terminals and pipelines that would be highly attractive as demand for such remains high in light of booming domestic production of crude oil.
The impact to Citgo's branded retail outlets is not yet known, but any potential buyer of its retail assets would likely shy away from the Citgo brand, which many American motorists tie to Venezuela.