4 Oct 2017 14:38

Issue of terms of Rosneft loan to PDVSA, secured by Citgo, to be resolved soon - Venezuelan minister

MOSCOW. Oct 4 (Interfax) - The issue of altering the collateral terms for a loan issued by Rosneft to Venezuela's PDVSA and secured by a stake in Citgo will be resolved soon, Venezuela's oil minister, Eulogio Del Pino, told reporters in Moscow.

"We're discussing it, it'll all happen soon," he said.

Rosneft said in report to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for 2016 that it had given PDVSA a number of advances for $1.5 billion as part of an oil supply contract.

ConocoPhillips filed a lawsuit against PDVSA in Delaware at the beginning of 2017, in which it was confirmed that the Venezuelan company transferred a 49.9% stake in Citgo to Rosneft as collateral. ConocoPhillips challenged the legality of this transaction. PDVSA has not confirmed information about the collateral.

The Guardian newspaper has said that if Venezuela defaults on its debt, Rosneft might gain control of Citgo, alarming American politicians. In early April, in a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Democrat Senator Robert Menendez said that this scenario could be a threat to U.S. energy security. He said that Citgo operates 48 petroleum transshipment terminals in 20 states. It owns three refineries in the U.S. with a total capacity of 750,000 barrels of oil per day. The company also operates 6,000 filling stations.

The Venezuelan parliament recently asked the United States to block any Rosneft deal for Citgo.

Rosneft chief Igor Sechin said last week that Rosneft had not and would not be looking to operate Citgo's assets in the U.S. "In the framework of our work to buy oil in Venezuela we made advance payment and received Citgo as security. We did not wish to are not about to operate the network," he said.