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A court-ordered auction of the shares of the parent company of Venezuela-owned U.S. oil refiner Citgo Petroleum has attracted dozens of companies interested in the data and the auction process, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Monday.
“There are multiple pockets of capital” looking at Citgo’s parent company PDV Holding and its assets, one of the sources told Reuters.
The sale process was launched by a Delaware court in October 2023. As the bidding round is drawing to a close, dozens of energy firms and investment banks have lately rushed to obtain financial data on Citgo and its parent company, according to several sources who spoke to Reuters.
The bidding round is for creditors and claimants against Venezuela’s oil asset appropriation and debts owed by Venezuela’s U.S.-based refiner Citgo.
Overall, creditors and claimants have sought to recoup at courts in Delaware a total of $23 billion in claims and arbitration awards against Venezuela.
Citgo is the seventh-largest refiner in the United States with a total capacity topping 800,000 barrels daily. It has plants in Texas, Louisiana, and Illinois, along with pipelines and a gasoline distribution network that supplies 4,200 outlets in the United States.
First in line, when the court-ordered share sale takes place, would be Canadian Crystallex. The miner was the first company to make a claim against PDVSA after Venezuela nationalized a gold mine it operated in the country. An arbitration court awarded Crystallex $1.4 billion in damages several years ago and the company agreed to the sum.
Since then, PDVSA has made some payments to the Canadian miner and now it is due around $1 billion, media have reported earlier.
ConocoPhillips will also be near the front of the line to recoup costs associated with Venezuela’s expropriation of two of its crude oil projects.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com