U.S. oil refiner Citgo Petroleum posted its first profit in seven quarters

HOUSTON (Reuters) – The Sitgo Petroleum Corporation reported on Monday that low, second-quarter earnings, the first in seven quarters, helped offset the impact of high oil exports on weak margins and pipeline closures.

Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petroleum Venezuela, is under pressure from the United States to access Venezuelan oil due to US sanctions. Sitgo is fighting a possible invasion by lenders seeking to collect debts owed to PDVSA and Venezuela.

The eighth largest U.S. net profit of $ 3 million, for the first time since the third quarter of 2019, ended on June 30, three months after exports to 97% of the plant in Limmont, Illinois. A year ago, it lost $ 5 million in net profit in the second quarter.

Given the many challenges we have faced in the first half of 2020 and 2021, this return to profitability is particularly satisfying, ”said Citgo CEO Carlos Jorda. The COVID-19 epidemic reduced the demand for motor fuel and plunged deeper into the Red Sea.

In May, a week after the colonial oil pipeline was taken over by the commission, Lake Charles, Louisiana, refinery, the largest of the three facilities, was reduced from 418,000 barrels per day.

Total filter output was 732,000 bpd, up from 575,000 bpd a year ago. Exports rose from 87,000 BPD to 130,000 BPD a year ago. However, the Corpus Christi, Texas factory was damaged by operating and third-party interruptions and was operating at a poor 78% usage rate.

Planned reforms on Corpus Christi will be pushed back in the first quarter of next year, helping to reduce costs and increase productivity this year.

By the time we enter the second half of 2021, Sitogo is well positioned to benefit from a consolidated economy and demand for our products, Jorda said.

(Reporting by Gary Mac Williams; correction by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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