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Russia and Venezuela
Rosneft Could Soon Control Citgo, Senator Warns

The Russian state-owned oil firm Rosneft could soon possess a majority stake in the Houston-based oil company Citgo, Senator Bob Menendez warned this week. Menendez penned a letter to Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin in which he expressed concern that Venezuela’s economic death spiral could cause it to default on loans that would ultimately give Rosneft a controlling stake in Citgo shares. The Hill reports:

Petróleos de Venezuela, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, used 49.9 percent of Citgo’s shares as collateral for a loan. If Venezuela’s economic crisis continues and the company defaults, Menendez said Rosneft may take control of the shares, which would combine with the Russian company’s other interests in the company to give it majority control.

“This could leave Rosneft, a Russian company controlled by oligarchs with close ties to [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, in control of critical energy infrastructure in the United States,” Menendez told Mnuchin in a letter.

Venezuela’s own state-owned oil company has become increasingly desperate in recent months to find financing to stay afloat. Bargain crude prices have crunched what was an already mismanaged organization and Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) has on multiple occasions been unable to pay oil services companies for, well, their (much-needed) services. Venezuelan roughnecks are literally going hungry as their wages go unpaid.

Into this mess, enter Rosneft, which has of late begun to play the role of emergency financier to the beleaguered Venezuelans. For their help, the Russians have gained access to potentially lucrative joint ventures and are of course gaining the influence that only money can buy in the South American country. If things go from bad to worse, as they have a habit of doing in Caracas, Menendez’s worries about Rosneft’s “potential acquisition of Citgo” could become a reality.

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  • ——————————

    The left and the elites keep brainwashing the masses by singing the praises globalism…well here you go!….

  • D4x

    Is there not a law that allows USA government review of foreign control of ‘critical infrastructure’? Toshiba’s possible sale of Westinghouse to a Chinese corporation would come under that formal review.

  • gabrielsyme

    I’m not sure why this is so terrible. It’s not as if Venezuela – which must functionally control Citgo now – is notably friendlier to the United States. In terms of foreign control, the foreign control has already occurred, it’s just a question of who holds it.

    • Andrew Allison

      Venezuela is impotent, Russia is not.

      • Fat_Man

        Secretary of State Clinton didn’t have any problem with the Russians controlling US Uranium miners, why is this case different, other than that Bill didn’t collect a “speaking fee” from them?

        • Andrew Allison

          It isn’t different. It was as irresponsible to transfer U.S Uranium reserves (not control of the mines) to a Russian-owned company as it would be to allow Rosneft to gain control of Citgo.

          • Eurydice

            From what I see on the CITGO website, the company is 100% owned by PDVSA and has been since 1990. The only “US” part of it seems to be the headquarters and 3 refineries. So, I’m not sure what the US can do about it now.

          • D4x

            Venezuela’s oil is ‘heavy’, like the Alberta tar sand oil destined for the Keystone Pipeline
            https://www.caracaschronicles.com/2017/01/30/keystone-xl/

          • Eurydice

            Ok, but how does this change the fact that CITGO hasn’t been a US company for 27 years?

          • D4x

            The answer is somewhere between the Monroe Doctrine, someone else could buy the US assets from PDSVA, and my earlier comment “Is there not a law that allows USA government review of foreign control of ‘critical infrastructure’?…”

          • Eurydice

            But there aren’t any US assets. Only foreign-owned assets located in the US. At least, that’s what I assume 100% Venezuelan ownership means.

          • Fat_Man

            Citgo is not an exploration company. It has no reserves. It is a retailer with some refineries. It is far less strategic than the uranium mines.

          • Andrew Allison

            What part of “transfer U.S. Uranium reserves” is unclear? Is it really necessary to explain that the reserves have already been mined and the transfer has nothing to do with mines or miners?

          • Fat_Man

            In reference a mining or extraction company, reserves refers to minerals in the ground that can be economically extracted. My understanding of the Uranium deal was that the thing transferred was mines. Are you saying that they also purchased extracted minerals?

      • f1b0nacc1

        You know, they have pills for that now…

      • gabrielsyme

        Well, Venezuela and Russia would have exactly the same power over CITGO, and I don’t know of any reason why Venezuela would be less inclined to use that power disruptively. Venezuela is both more desperate than Russia and more unstable.

  • GS

    And ef them. it should be possible to squeeze CITGO out of the US, together with its owners.

  • Che Guevara

    Wasn’t Russia supposed to be bankrupt by now, under the crippling Western sanctions, and begging the U.S. for mercy? Whatever happened to the fake news from Obama and McCain that Russia will soon go bankrupt under the corrupt Putin regime?

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