By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Apr. 26 -- Citgo Petroleum Corp. said Monday it is moving its headquarters to Houston from Tulsa, with some 700 jobs to be transferred over the next 2 years.
"Every employee whose position is moved will be offered a job. The remaining 300 positions will remain in Tulsa," said Luis Marín, Citgo president and CEO, in a message to workers Monday.
The move will strategically position Citgo "as a major player in our industry" and will permit it "to play a larger role in the downstream business" of its parent Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), the national oil company of Venezuela, Marín said.
He noted that the move "will place our headquarters in close proximity to our refining operations on the Gulf Coast."
Citgo will benefit from state and local financial packages in its move to Texas, including a $5 million grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund. In addition, Houston and Corpus Christi will sponsor $30 million in low-interest loans for the company through the Texas Economic Development Bank and its bond program.
In return for that investment, Citgo is to add 120 jobs at its Corpus Christi refinery and invest $828 million over the next 10 years to increase the volume of gasoline produced at that facility.
Meanwhile, Citgo has not yet determined the location of its new Houston office. Antonio Rivero, Citco's executive vice-president, is to spearhead the relocation and will work closely with managers to determine when each group will be scheduled to move, officials said. Separation programs will be offered to those employees who chose not to move to Houston.
Citgo has been headquartered in Tulsa for 30 years. The 300 workers to remain in Tulsa are employed by the company's product technology laboratory, warehouse, pipeline control center, tax department, benefits group, the customer service groups in light oils and lubes, the data center, some information technology operations, and part of accounting.