CITGO Ensures Continuity of Heating Oil Program

Reverses decision to suspend shipments

BOSTON -- CITGO Petroleum Corp. confirmed the continuation of its social programs, including the flagship the CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program, said CITGO chairman, president and CEO Alejandro Granado during a press conference last week with Citizens Energy Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II. The oil company had reportedly announced that it would suspended shipments of heating oil for poor families in the United States, citing falling oil prices and the world economic crisis.

"The CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program will continue. This decision is the result of a strong commitment [image-nocss] and a big effort on the part of CITGO and our shareholder in light of the current global financial crisis and its impact on the oil industry in general," said Granado.

Meanwhile, Kennedy pointed out that he is "personally aware of President Chavez's genuine concern for the most vulnerable, regardless of where they may live. Evidence of this is that President Chavez wanted all necessary efforts made to ensure the continuation of the program, so that its recipients will not be disappointed. This decision is a clear, direct message from President Chavez of his desire to strengthen relations between his country and the United States, particularly at this time, when a new U.S. administration is scheduled to be sworn-in within the next few weeks," he said.

Because of the falling price of crude oil over the last several months, CITGO had been forced to evaluate all its social programs, including the heating initiative.

Last year, the heating oil program provided some 200,000 households in 23 states with fuel, including more than 220 tribal communities and large low-income housing cooperatives in New York City. In addition, the CITGO funds provided heating grants to more than 210 homeless shelters in 14 states. The 2008-2009 heating season marks the fourth year of CITGO's donations.

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petr aleos de Venezuela SA, the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

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