Venezuela’s Extra Gasoline Shipment for US set to Arrive in Florida

Venezuela will begin to ship approximately one million barrels of gasoline to the United States in addition to its normal volumes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. Extra gasoline may help provide relief to U.S. consumers affected by high prices

September 22, 2005 (– Venezuela will begin to ship approximately one million barrels of gasoline to the United States in addition to its normal volumes, putting into practice the announcement made by President Hugo Chávez in the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation.

U.S. Gasoline prices have increased significantly in recent months fueled by high demand, and by production disruptions in U.S. refineries affected by hurricanes.

Venezuela’s first additional shipment will arrive on September 25, according to a press release by the Embassy of Venezuela in Washington D.C.

The B/T Energy Pride tanker is currently on its way to Port Everglades, Florida, with 240,000 barrels of refined gasoline.

The gasoline, produced by the Venezuelan national oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), will be available immediately to U.S. consumers through the distribution network of CITGO Petroleum Corp., PDVSA’s wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary.

“As a Hemispheric neighbor and business partner, we are pleased that we are able to provide immediate relief by increasing gasoline supplies available in the United States in the aftermath of this devastating natural disaster,” said Venezuela’s Ambassador to the United States, Bernardo Alvarez.

“We are sending additional barrels of gasoline that otherwise would have gone elsewhere, and we will continue to do whatever we can to help alleviate energy shortages and the dislocations faced by the people of the United States as a result of Hurricane Katrina,” Alvarez added.

Three other 240,000 barrel shipments will arrive at regular intervals on the heels of this first shipment.

It is expected that the entire additional volume of close to one million barrels of gasoline will be in the U.S. distribution system no later than October 31. Venezuela’s geographic proximity to the United States and PDVSA’s relationship with CITGO permits a much quicker response than other countries in Europe, the Middle East, or Asia could achieve.

PDVSA is the fifth largest provider of petroleum products in the world and the third largest provider to the United States. During the last year, Venezuela has at times been the largest supplier of oil to the United States, surpassing Saudi Arabia, Canada and Mexico.

The South American nation exports 95 percent of its hydrocarbons, 57 percent of which are earmarked for the United States. PDVSA’S oil refining capacity globally is 3.3 million barrels per day.

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