Refiner Citgo Petroleum posts second-quarter $1.28 bln profit

Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

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HOUSTON, Aug 11 (Reuters) - U.S. oil refiner Citgo Petroleum on Thursday reported a second quarter profit that surged to $1.28 billion on higher crude processing volumes and stronger margins.

The eighth largest U.S. oil refiner's three plants processed 776,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), up from 732,000 bpd a year earlier, it said. Refinery utilization rates, a key measure of efficiency, rose to 101% from 95% in the first quarter this year, the company's parent posted on Twitter.

Citgo ended the quarter with $2.2 billion in cash and proceeds from an accounts receivable securitization, according to the PDVSA ad hoc twitter posts. A spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the tweets.

The company last year returned to profitability after back-to-back annual losses during the coronavirus pandemic. Its first quarter $245 million profit was more than 10 times the year-ago level on higher processing volumes, higher exports and stronger margins.

On Thursday, Citgo said it was offering to buy $286 million in notes due in 2024 and repay nearly $483 million of a term loan facility.

Citgo, a subsidiary of Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA, is run by boards appointed by Juan Guaido, whom Washington recognizes as Venezuela's legitimate leader.

The company, which is protected by U.S. executive orders from creditors trying to seize Venezuela's foreign assets, would be willing to resume Venezuelan heavy crude imports if the U.S. government authorizes the flow, Citgo's CEO said in July. The crude imports are key to feeding its refineries' deep conversion units.

(Reporting by Marianna Parraga, writing by Gary McWilliams; Editing by David Gregorio)

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