Venezuela’s CITGO Hopes to Gain New Markets in Latin America

To gain markets from Mexico all the way down to the Patagonia and to conquer the Hispanic US market are among the goals of the Oklahoma-based and Venezuelan-owned company.

There are approximately 15.000 CITGO retailers in the US selling Venezuelan gasoline.
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Oklahoma, Nov 18.- CITGO Corporation, one of the main distributors of gasoline in the United States, is undergoing a thorough revision of its operations in order to maximize its earnings and expand into new markets, according to its authorities.

CITGO, which is owned by the Venezuelan government, hopes to consolidate its operations in some of the biggest markets in the continent such as Mexico, Brazil and Chile, through its subsidiary CITGO International Latin America (CILA).

“Our goal is to gain markets from Mexico all the way down to the Patagonia,” said CILA’s president Antonio Rivero during a press conference with Venezuelan journalists at the company’s headquarters in Tulsa Oklahoma. The company has expanded its portfolio of products in Latin America with petrochemicals, asphalt and fuels.

Guatemala and Panama are two of the other countries that CILA is concentrating on right now, as well as Puerto Rico, where 72 gas stations carry CITGO gasoline, motor oil and other products.

Rivero said that CITGO is evaluating the Argentine market to determine its profitability before making any significant investment.

CITGO expects to make a push to conquer the Hispanic market in the United States which has more than 40 million people. Approximately 15.000 gas stations in the United States distribute CITGO gasoline and products.

The company owns refineries in Chicago, Lake Charles, Corpus Christi, Savannah y Houston.

Venezuela will assist Bolivia

Venezuela’s Energy and Mines Minister Rafael Ramírez announced yesterday that Venezuela will offer technical assistance to Bolivia in order to help them improve the efficiency in the exploitation and use of natural gas, so that it is utilized for the benefit of the Bolivian people.

Ramirez, who attended the recent XIII Iberian American Presidential Summit in Bolivia, said that Bolivians know that the political conflict that recently shocked that nation has to do with the exploitation of natural resources in a sovereign manner.

“We are going to sign an agreement of cooperation between the two governments, which was drafted in Bolivia and will be signed in Caracas in upcoming days,” said Ramirez. The Minister also announced that Venezuela is negotiating the sale of natural gas to Ecuador.

According to Ramirez, “Venezuela is considered the most sovereign nation in the region with regard to the use and exploitation of its natural gas and petroleum, which is why other governments in the region have shown interest in learning from the Venezuelan experience to avoid repeating problems such as the Argentine economic crisis -as a result of the sale of all of its oil industry-, and Bolivia, which attempted to sell natural gas to the US in non beneficial terms.”

Information from Venpres and other agencies was used in this report.