New sanctions by the Trump administration against Venezuela could ultimately affect customers at some service stations in Oklahoma and across the U.S.
That’s because Valero stations are owned by CITGO which is a Texas based company that is 50.1% owned by PDV America, Inc, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venequela, S.A. The remaining 49.9% is owned by the Russian government-owned oil company Rosneft.
The sanctions are aimed at Venezuela’s socialist government headed by President Nicolas Maduro and his ruling party. Together, they have unlimited powers and recent demonstrations by opponents left dozens dead.
They came a day after Maduro held what the U.S. called a “sham” election. The U.S. Treasury Department froze all of Maduro’s assets and Americans are prohibited from dealing with him.
CITGO, formerly Cities Service had close ties to Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry. After Henry Latham Doherty created the company in the early 1900s to supply gas and electricity to small public utilities, he explored for oil and discovered the Oklahoma City field.
He also expanded Cities Service when a subsidiary, Empire Distributing Gas Company acquired the Indian Terroritory Oil Illuminating company. The company’s headquarters were moved from Bartlesville to Tulsa in 1964.