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U.S. Refiner Citgo Books First Quarterly Profit In Two Years

Refiner Citgo Petroleum, the U.S. subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-held oil firm PDVSA, reported this week a net income for the second quarter, its first quarterly profit since the third quarter of 2019.

Citgo Petroleum, which is the eighth-largest refiner in the U.S. in terms of crude processing capacities, had been suffering even before the pandemic when it lost access to Venezuelan oil with the U.S. sanctions on Nicolas Maduro’s regime.  

Citgo Petroleum, headquartered in Houston, also faces possible seizure of assets from creditors who are going after debts they are owed by Venezuela or its state oil firm PDVSA.

In the second quarter of 2021, improved mobility and increased demand for fuels helped Citgo book a net income of $3 million, the company said in a statement. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) came in at $208 million, said Citgo, noting that Q2 was its first profitable quarter since Q3 2019.

“Given the multiple challenges we have faced during 2020 and the first half of 2021, this return to profitability is particularly satisfying – especially given the slow margin recovery we are experiencing due to the lingering effects of the pandemic,” said Citgo President and chief executive Carlos Jordá.

The challenges in the second quarter of 2021 included the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline, which affected Citgo operations and much of the refining industry and forced Citgo teams in Houston and Lake Charles to adjust operations in real time.

“Despite reduced refining margins and the Colonial interruption, operations were strong at both the Lake Charles and Lemont refineries during the second quarter, with utilization rates of 87% and 97%, respectively,” the company said.

Citgo Petroleum owns and operates three refineries with a combined crude capacity of around 769,000 barrels per day (bpd), located in Lake Charles, Louisiana; Lemont, Illinois; and Corpus Christi, Texas.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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