June deadline set for Citgo auction bids

  • : Crude oil, Oil products
  • 24/04/17

Bidders for Citgo's US refining assets have until 11 June to submit offers for the company's 805,000 b/d of refining capacity and associated assets, with a tentative sale hearing set for 15 July.

Documents filed Tuesday in the US District Court for the District of Delaware set 11 June as the deadline for interested parties to submit final binding bids after non-binding bids were received 22 January.

The court began the auction process for Citgo's parent PdV Holding (PdVH) in October, part of the process of satisfying debts owed by Venezuelan-state owned oil company PdV.

The court will file a notice of a successful bid "as soon as reasonably practicable" following the 11 June deadline and selection of a successful bidder. No date has been set for the filing of objections to the sale or replies to the objections before the tentative 15 July hearing.

The legal wrangling over Citgo is unlikely to conclude even if the Delaware court successfully executes the sale as 27 businesses have filed claims against Citgo amounting to more than $21bn.

The scale of Citgo's operations in the US are also a challenge to any potential buyer. Few companies look ready to buy the company's three refineries, three lubricants plants and retail and midstream assets.

The assets have been valued by various analysts anywhere between $6.5bn and $40bn, with a lofty valuation potentially deterring bidders. But the auction process itself has been the main cause for concern.

Independent refiner PBF Energy's chief executive Matthew Lucey previously called the auction a "quagmire", considering its ties to a complex geopolitical situation in Venezuela, saying he did not expect the sale to go anywhere in the near term.

Marathon Petroleum expressed similar disdain. "We're not interested in the auction process," Marathon chief executive Michael Hennigan said on an earnings call in October.

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