CITGO Bidding Process Goes Another Round

HOUSTON — CITGO Petroleum Corp. has received revised bids from at least four companies in a new round of bidding, Reuters reported. Some of these bids value CITGO at more than $10 billion, while others were less than $7 billion, according to anonymous insiders.

Fluctuating value of crude oil at CITGO's refineries, future crude oil purchases from Venezuela, and potential environmental liabilities reportedly contributed to the differing bid prices.

Pricing of the top bids combined with declining oil prices could potentially prompt Venezuelan state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) to move forward with the sale. It was said to be halted in October before reports of new bids surfaced in early November, as CSNews Online previously reported.

The companies that placed bids in this December round reportedly include Marathon Petroleum Corp., Valero Energy Corp., HollyFrontier Corp. and a consortium of TPG Capital LP and Riverstone Holdings LLC, the insiders told Reuters.

In the United States, CITGO has refineries in Lemont, Ill.; Lake Charles, La.; and Corpus Christi, Texas, along with 48 oil terminals. PDVSA also owns a 50-percent stake in the Chalmette, La., refinery along with Exxon Mobil Corp.

Lazard Ltd., the investment bank PDVSA hired to conduct the sale, has not informed bidders whether there will be another round of bids.

No comments were provided by CITGO or the bidding companies.

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