U.S. refiner Citgo has said it has reached an agreement with Aruba to transfer control of the San Nicolas refinery to the island’s government. 

Citgo, (which is a unit of Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela), has been under the control of Aruba’s opposition for over a year, following sanctions imposed on it by Washington that were intended to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

In a statement, Citgo said this new transfer agreement is the first step in a process that will result in the Aruba government taking full control of the refinery by March 16, following approval by the island’s parliament. 

In 2016 Citgo and Aruba reached a 25-year, $685 million deal to refurbish and reopen the facility, which had been idled since 2012, but little progress had been made. Then last year the two parties suspended a contract to overhaul the facility, leaving the future of the 209,000 barrel-per-day refinery uncertain. 

Aruba’s government said it is now looking for outside candidates to take over the refinery.

Elsewhere, Citgo Petroleum Corporation, (a separate entity), will continue to supply fuel to the island’s airport and gas stations.

For more information visit www.citgo.com

4th March 2020