Thursday, October 05, 2006

Citgo To Stop Gas Distribution To Most U.S. Stations

Citgo Petroleum Corp. said it will stop supplying gasoline to stations in 10 states, including Ohio and Kentucky, and cut back shipments to stations in four remaining states. The move will affect about 1,800 independently owned stations in all, which will have to find other fuel suppliers. The shift will be completed by March 2007. According to a newspaper report Citgo's parent, the state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA, decided it will only sell gasoline in the United States that is produced by its three U.S. refineries, located in Louisiana, Texas and Illinois.Citgo Petroleum had been buying gas from other sources in order to supply its more than 13,000 Citgo-branded stations, the newspaper said, which is less profitable than selling its own gas. The move comes as global tensions, including Israel's military action against Lebanon, have driven oil prices up to $76 a barrel. Besides Ohio and Kentucky, Citgo will stop selling gas in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. It will continue sales to some stations in Indiana, Illinois, Texas and Arkansas.