Citgo posts US$667mil loss for 2020 on falling demand


Citgo, the US refining arm of Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA, split from its parent in 2019 after Venezuela’s opposition-led Congress appointed new executives and Washington imposed tighter sanctions on PDVSA, which had been the source of most of its crude and the receiver of a big portion of its fuel output.

HOUSTON: Eighth-largest United States refiner Citgo Petroleum Corp has reported a 2020 loss of US$667mil (RM2.74bil) due to slack demand for fuel and higher costs that crushed profit margins.

Most US refining companies in 2020 suffered deep losses and four facilities halted operations as the Covid-19 pandemic sharply cut fuel demand and sales. Average US gasoline consumption fell 13% last year with gasoline and diesel prices hitting a four-year low, according to government figures.

First-quarter results were not released because of a delay in meeting with Citgo’s main shareholder, a spokeswoman said. Quarterly results are expected later this month.

Citgo, the US refining arm of Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA, split from its parent in 2019 after Venezuela’s opposition-led Congress appointed new executives and Washington imposed tighter sanctions on PDVSA, which had been the source of most of its crude and the receiver of a big portion of its fuel output.

“Our ability to persevere – through the Covid pandemic, hurricanes and the recent severe winter storm with widespread utility outages – and still enhance our operational performance, safety and corporate governance is again a testament to the dedication and professionalism of all our employees, ” chief executive Carlos Jorda said in a statement.

Citgo’s full-year loss of US$667mil compared with a profit of US$246mil (RM1.01bil) in 2019. Its fourth-quarter loss widened to US$255mil (RM1.05bil) from a US$24mil (RM98.70mil) loss a year earlier. Refinery throughput last year was off 20% to 638,000 barrels per day (bpd) due to the pandemic and a shutdown at Citgo’s Lake Charles refinery in Louisiana due to two hurricanes, the company said. Exports last year were 135,000 bpd compared with 194,000 bpd in 2019. ─ Reuters

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