Citgo Petroleum Corp., the Venezuelan state-owned company, said it will stop selling gasoline to hundreds of stations in 14 states over the next year.
The move stems from a decision by the Houston-based company, a subsidiary of state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA, to stop buying gasoline from other refiners to serve the 13,000 U.S. stations it services. Instead, the company will sell just the fuel produced from its three U.S. refineries, which together can process up to 750,000 barrels of crude oil a day. [...]
Because of their proximity, the U.S. and Venezuela rely on each other in the oil market. Venezuela supplies 14% of the U.S. oil supply, and the U.S. buys half of Venezuela's oil exports. Venezuela has reserves of about 80 billion barrels of conventional oil and as many as 270 billion barrels of extra-heavy oil that must be substantially upgraded before it can be refined.
But the Venezuelan oil company has become highly politicized under the country's president, Hugo Chavez, a vocal critic of the U.S. Because of poor field management and political choices, Venezuela has reduced its oil production since Mr. Chavez took power in 1998 to about 2.6 million barrels a day from a peak of 3.1 million barrels a day.
In Washington, Larry Neal, deputy staff director for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, criticized the move. "It is not unreasonable to wonder if politics instead of economics are at work when the man behind the company routinely uses it to dabble in American politics," Mr. Neal said.
Such bogus bravado and blustering bullshit. The men behind energy economics have been dabbling in American politics for at least decades. Do the names Dick Cheney, Ken Lay, and George Bush (pick one, it doesn't matter) mean anything to a global warming politicker like Larry Neal?