Sunday, July 16, 2006

Citgo to stop selling gas at U.S. stations

Venezuela-owned Citgo Petroleum Corp. has decided to stop selling gasoline at some 1,800 stations in the United States following calls by President Hugo Chavez to nix contracts that benefit U.S. consumers more than Venezuelans.

Citgo, which is wholly owned by Venezuela's state oil company, currently has to purchase 130,000 barrels a day from other refining companies to meet its service contracts at 13,100 stations across the U.S.

That will mean that over the next year Citgo will withdraw completely from 10 states and stop supplying some stations in four additional states, Citgo spokesman Fernando Garay said Wednesday.

Chavez has long claimed that parts of Citgo's business produce losses for Venezuela and constitute a subsidy for the U.S. economy.


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