Venezuela taps Lazard to sell Citgo Petroleum -sources
By Mike Stone
NEW YORK Aug 12 (Reuters) - Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA is working with investment bank Lazard Ltd to sell its North American unit, Citgo Petroleum Corp, according to people familiar with the situation.
Venezuela's Petroleum Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Aug. 5 that the country will look to exit Citgo "as soon as we receive a proposal that serves our interests."
A potential sale would be Venezuela's biggest pullback ever from the U.S. refining market.
Citgo has three U.S. refineries with combined capacity of some 750,000 barrels per day. They are in Lemont, Illinois; Lake Charles, Louisiana; and Corpus Christi, Texas. Citgo also has 48 terminals.
Representatives for Citgo and Lazard declined to comment. The people asked not to be named because the matter is private.
Citgo's parent, PDVSA, also has a 50 percent stake in the Chalmette refinery in Louisiana alongside Exxon Mobil Corp , which owns the rest.
The Venezuelan oil company has tapped Deutsche Bank separately to explore a sale of its stake in that refinery, the people familiar with the matter said.
Exxon has also considered selling its interest in that refinery in conjunction with PDVSA, one of the people added. Continued...