Venezuela's Deals To Shield Citgo From Creditors Now In Doubt

Venezuela is facing the possible unraveling of a pair of billion-dollar settlements aimed at protecting the cash-strapped country’s U.S.-based Citgo Petroleum Corp from seizure by creditors. A lawyer for Canadian mining company Crystallex International Corp said on Tuesday Venezuela had breached the $1.4 billion November agreement that resolved a long-running fight over an expropriated gold mine. Separately, Venezuela’s $1.3 billion settlement in October with Rusoro Mining of Vancouver, also over expropriated mining assets, has been upended by U.S. sanctions on Caracas, a source told Reuters. Both companies had their sights on getting a U.S. court order to auction the parent company of Citgo, which is indirectly owned by Venezuela through its state oil company, PDVSA. While Venezuela has been crippled by an economic crisis and has defaulted on tens of billions of dollars of debt, it has struck deals to protect Citgo’s refineries, a key destination for Venezuela’s crude. Read more