PDVSA's oil exports to Citgo decline, U.S. oil firms buy more -EIA

Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:39am EST
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By Marianna Parraga

HOUSTON Nov 25 (Reuters) - Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA is sending less of its crude to its U.S. unit Citgo and some of the slack is being picked up by other U.S. oil firms such as Valero Energy and Chevron , according to the Energy Information Administration.

Along with mostly crude shipments, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) used to send some intermediate products for Citgo's 750,000 barrel per day (bpd) refining network but it has not shipped its unit any feedstocks this year, latest EIA data through August shows.

The decline stems in part from a series problems PDVSA has had with its domestic refinery network since 2012 and assets sales Citgo made starting in 2005 of two East Coast asphalt plants and a partnership at a refinery in Texas.

Though Citgo is still the biggest buyer of PDVSA oil in the United States, it received an average of 189,500 bpd of Venezuelan crudes in the first eight months of 2013, a 26 percent drop from 257,500 bpd in 2012, according to the EIA.

The subsidiary, which runs its 167,000 bpd Lemont refinery in Illinois with Canadian crudes because of proximity and costs, did not receive any product cargoes during 2012 or 2013. In 2011, it bought nine cargoes of unfinished oils from Venezuela.

The United States as a whole is receiving a declining volume of Venezuelan crude and products as PDVSA works to ship more of its oil to Asia as part of a diversification strategy. India and China together already receive more than 1 million bpd from Venezuela.

According to the EIA, PDVSA and its private partners have sent 791,000 bpd of oil to the United States so far in 2013, compared with 1.53 million bpd eight years ago.

PDVSA and Citgo officials were not immediately available to comment.   Continued...