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Citgo Corpus Christi Oil Refinery Restarts

Citgo Petroleum Corporation has begun the process of restarting units at the West Plant of its 175,500 barrels per day (bpd) Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery. This follows the completion of planned maintenance activities, according to a community alert notification issued early Tuesday morning.

"Citgo West Plant is starting up units following the completion of planned maintenance activities," the alert stated. "During this time, flaring may occur. No community action is necessary." The maintenance work, which commenced on April 29, was initially projected to last a few weeks, as reported by the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS).

The restart of the West Plant comes at a critical time for Citgo, as the company faces significant financial and operational challenges. Citgo's operations are under scrutiny due to the looming auction of its assets, driven by claims from creditors linked to its parent company, Venezuela's state-owned oil firm PDVSA. The sale process, which has drawn interest from various bidders, is nearing its conclusion, with binding bids already submitted.

The refinery maintenance and subsequent restart are essential for maintaining Citgo's production capacity and supply commitments. Traders will be closely monitoring the refinery's output, as any fluctuations can impact market dynamics, particularly in the Gulf Coast region. The flaring associated with the restart process is a standard safety procedure, but it underscores the importance of operational stability in ensuring continuous supply.

Citgo's Corpus Christi refinery, a significant asset in the company's portfolio, plays a crucial role in meeting regional fuel demand. The successful restart of the West Plant is a positive development for Citgo amidst the broader uncertainties surrounding its future ownership and financial stability.

Citgo is the seventh-largest refiner in the United States, with a total capacity of 800,000 bpd. It has plants in Texas, Louisiana, and Illinois, along with pipelines and a gasoline distribution network that supplies 4,200 outlets in the United States.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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