Venezuela Firm at Risk of US Probe

Venezuela Firm at Risk of US ProbeVenezuela Firm at Risk of US Probe

A US investigation of Venezuela’s national oil producer could jeopardize about $8 billion in crude refineries, storage terminals and pipeline networks.

Three US oil refineries owned by Petroleos de Venezuela SA’s Citgo subsidiary have a combined capacity to process 749,000 barrels of oil a day. The company’s largest asset is its 425,000-barrel-a-day refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which includes shipping docks and storage terminals, Bloomberg reported.

Citgo probably would be valued around $8 billion, said Gurpal Dosanjh, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. Most of that value—about $6 billion—rests in the company’s pipeline and storage network, and the remaining $2 billion represents the trio of refineries, he said.

Citgo valued its assets at $8.1 billion in a July 2014 bond offering. PDVSA, as the Venezuelan parent company is known, is being probed by US authorities over whether it was involved in billions of dollars of kickbacks and other schemes, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The inquiries, which are ongoing across multiple jurisdictions within the US, also are trying to determine whether PDVSA and its foreign bank accounts were used for other illegal purposes, the newspaper reported, citing people it did not identify.

Citgo owns 48 terminals to store crude, gasoline and other products from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes to New England, as well as three pipeline networks in Texas and Louisiana that carry crude and refined products. It also operates three lubricant plants in Illinois, Oklahoma and Georgia.