Chavez to head Citgo after execs arrested

Asdrubal Chavez, a cousin of the late former president of Venezuela, has been named acting president and chief executive officer of Citgo Petroleum Corp. a week after the arrests of his predecessor and five other company executives on charges of corruption.

Asdrubal Chavez, a cousin of the late former president of Venezuela, has been named acting president and chief executive officer of Citgo Petroleum Corp. a week after the arrests of his predecessor and five other company executives on charges of corruption.

The appointment of Chavez, a chemical engineer and former oil minister, came after President Nicolas Maduro named Maj. Gen. Manuel Quevedo petroleum minister and president of Petroleos de Venezuela SA, Citgo’s parent (OGJ Online, Nov. 28, 2017).

Maduro, who became president after the death of Hugo Chavez, also appointed Ysmel Serrano executive vice-president of PDVSA. Serrano had been vice-president of commerce and supply.

What Maduro calls a response to corruption at Citgo and PDVSA is widely seen outside the country as consolidation of power as Venezuela approaches default on its international financial obligations and its oil industry struggles.

Oil production has fallen by 500,000 b/d since 2013 to below 1.9 million b/d.

Maduro on Nov. 27 declared the start of “a new revolutionary phase” for PDVSA.

In a speech to the National Assembly, he called for a 1 million-b/d increase in oil production; recovery of the refining system; a 100% increase in Venezuelan petrochemical capacity; and fulfillment of oil supply obligations to China, India, the US, and Petrocaribe countries, to which Venezuela under Chavez pledged oil under concessionary terms.

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