Chavez calls US-based Citgo refining, marketing co. 'bad business'

By Phaedra Friend Troy

According to a report from Reuters, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has called Citgo, the Venezuela-owned, US-based refining and marketing company, “bad business.”

Citgo is bad business,” Chavez said on a late-night television appearance, reported Reuters. “We have not been able to get out of it; we are subject to US law.”

Boasting a refining capacity of nearly 750,000 barrels a day, Citgo celebrated 100 years of operation in the US this year.

According to the Citgo website, the company wholly owns three refineries: one in Lake Charles, Louisiana; one in Corpus Christi, Texas; and another in Lemont, Illinois. Citgo also has three lubes packaging plants, more than 40 terminals, almost 200 Citgo Fast Lubes and nearly 6,500 retail stores.

All of these operations support more than 60,000 jobs in the US. 

The company also holds interest in a number of different downstream assets across the US.

"That company has eight refineries, I don't know how many tanks, it distributes fuel via 8,000 stations in the United States, yet it makes us no profit," Chavez continued.

Yet Chavez did not say specifically that he was going to sell the Citgo brand.

Citgo’s parent company is Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, which has been actively trying to divest refineries outside of the South American country, reported Reuters.

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