Citgo Petroleum’s board has selected Carlos E. Jorda as its chief executive, selecting a veteran refinery expert and native Venezuelan to run a company facing legal attacks and working under U.S. sanctions against its parent, Petroleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa).
Citgo severed ties with Pdvsa earlier this year after President Trump levied sanctions on the state-run company and recognized Juan Guaido, Venezuela’s congress head, as the nation’s legitimate leader, Kallanish Energy reports.
Citgo officials loyal to President Nicolas Maduro were tossed and new boards for Pdvsa and Citgo were named by the Venezuelan congress in February.
Jorda, 69, was chairman of Citgo Petroleum between 1999 and 2002, and retired from the company in the early 2000s.
He is a director at Delek US Holding, an independent oil refiner based in Tennessee, and an adviser at consultancy Gaffney, Cline & Associates.
“The board was searching for a CEO with a solid professional background in operations and who could guide Citgo during this unprecedented time. With his understanding of the company, its shareholder and the geopolitical landscape in which the company operates, we believe that Carlos Jorda is the right person for the job,” said Citgo chairperson Luisa Palacios.
The new CEO will take over a profitable business with nearly $30 billion in revenue last year. Citgo is the eighth largest U.S. refiner by capacity, operating three refineries with a combined crude capacity of 749,000 barrels per day, and markets through a network of 5,300 retail outlets.
But Citgo is definitely not a company without major problems. Maduro has his own directors and considers the separation from Pdvsa as illegal; creditors want to grab Citgo in payment for Venezuela’s debts; and the U.S. Justice Department is examining its role in alleged bribery-for-contracts schemes.
Citgo operates refineries in Texas, Louisiana and Illinois. Shares in its U.S. parent, Citgo Holding, were used by Maduro as collateral for debt due in 2020, and for a loan from Russian oil company Rosneft.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.