CARACAS, Venezuela, July 25 (UPI) -- Selling off U.S. refiner Citgo would free up export volumes for Venezuela to start directing oil to the Chinese market, Energy Ministry officials said.
The Venezuelan Energy Ministry said it's considering separate offers for Citgo from Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. Sources inside the ministry told Argus Media offers range from $10 billion to $15 billion.
Combined refinery output from Citgo is 757,000 barrels per day, with most of that centered at its Lake Charles facility in Louisiana.
Argus reported Thursday the sale of Citgo would free up exports the state-owned oil and gas company known as PDVSA could direct toward China. Both sides have agreements to increase exports by more than 60 percent to 1 million barrels of oil per day by 2016.
Venezuela is the No. 4 oil exporter to the United States, behind Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico, respectively. For the week ending July 18, Venezuela exported on average 620,000 bpd, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.
China, meanwhile, imported around 10.2 million bpd total in 2012, EIA data show.