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Venezuela’s State-Run Refiner Sees Profit Tumble 81%

Venezuela’s state-owned refiner Citgo Petroleum’s net profits fell 81% in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to its most recent regulatory filing on Thursday.

The state-run refinery, which operates three refineries in the United States, saw its net profits plunge to $154 million for the fourth quarter, down from $806 million in the fourth quarter of the previous year. The dip in profits was largely attributed to refinery outages and weaker margins—with its crude utilization rate falling to 89% in Q4. Its Q3 2023 utilization rate was 95%. The refiner’s average throughput for its three refineries in Texas, Louisiana, and Illinois fell 6% to 821,000 bpd.

Citgo’s full-year net profit fell to $2 billion, down from $2.8 billion in 2022—a record year for the Venezuelan refiner. So while profits were down for the quarter, the full-year net profits were still the second-highest on record.

“Strong demand, favorable market conditions and solid operational and commercial performance contributed to our second-best annual financial performance in 2023,” Citgo’s CEO Carlos Jorda said in a Thursday statement.

Citgo is the subject of a court auction of shares of its parent, PDV Holding, to compensate for claims made against Venezuela for the expropriation of oil and gas assets. First-round bids are in, and a second bidding round will take place sometime this year. ConocoPhilllips is the largest creditor involved in the Citgo case, after Venezuela appropriated $12 billion of its assets. ConocoPhillips submitted a bid in the first-round auction for Citgo shares using this claim in lieu of cash.

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.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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