Aruba, Citgo negotiate deal to reopen shuttered oil refinery

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The Aruban government and Venezuela’s Citgo Petroleum Corp. are finalizing an agreement to reopen an oil refinery that has been shuttered since 2009.

Aruban Energy Minister Mike de Mesa says the accord calls for the rehabilitation of the facility and provides the U.S.-based subsidiary of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA with a 15-year operational lease and a 10-year extension option. The refinery is expected to process 209,000 barrels of crude per day.

De Mesa announced the accord in a Friday afternoon news conference with Prime Minister Mike Eman and said the signing ceremony will take place in the coming days. Eman called the reopening important for Aruba’s economic development.

The refinery previously employed 700 workers and was operated by Valero Energy Corp.

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