Citgo shuts the taps on 1800 stations
CARACAS, VENEZUELA – Venezuela-owned Citgo Petroleum Corp. has decided to stop distributing gasoline to 1,800 independently owned U.S. stations, shedding a lackluster segment of its business while forcing the owners of those stations to find other suppliers.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has long claimed that parts of Citgo’s business produce losses for Venezuela and constitute a subsidy for the U.S. economy.
Venezuela is the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter and the U.S. is its top buyer. The U.S. relied on Venezuela for about 11 percent of its oil supply in 2005.