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09-28-06, 12:17 AM #1
7-Eleven Stores will Stop Selling Venezuelan Citgo Gasoline
By Mark Clothier and Peter Wilson
Sept. 27 (Bloomberg) -- 7-Eleven Inc., the largest U.S. operator of convenience stores, will start selling gasoline under its own brand after a 20-year relationship with Citgo Petroleum Corp. ends this week.
7-Eleven's agreement to buy most of its fuel from Citgo, the U.S. subsidiary of Venezuela's state oil company, expires Sept. 30. 7-Eleven has considered ending the contract since last year because Houston-based Citgo said it would stop selling gasoline in Texas, where the retailer operates ``hundreds of stores,'' Dallas-based 7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris said today in an e-mail.
The contract is ending amid rising tensions between Venezuela and the U.S. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez last week called President George W. Bush ``the devil'' and ``world tyrant'' in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.
``This is a business decision, not a political decision,'' Chabris said. ``We knew our contract with Citgo would be ending at midnight on Sept. 30. Regardless of politics, we can sympathize with many Americans' concern over derogatory comments about our country.''
Venezuela's Energy and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez told reporters in Caracas today that ``there is no conflict'' between 7-Eleven and the state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, which owns all of Citgo.
Citgo said in a statement that it decided this year ``after many months of deliberation'' to let the 7-Eleven agreement expire. The contract ``did not fit within Citgo's strategy to balance sales with refinery production after the sale of its interest in a Houston area refinery.''
Citgo sold its shares in a Houston joint-venture refinery with Lyondell Chemical Co. in August.
Citgo said in July it would stop selling gasoline in 10 U.S. states and parts of four others after it stopped buying fuel from other petroleum processors.
The move affects Citgo dealers in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Missouri. Citgo also will cut off sales in some regions of Texas, Arkansas, Illinois and Indiana.
7-Eleven will start selling gasoline supplied by Frontier Oil Corp., Tower Energy Group, in Torrance, California, and Sinclair Oil of Salt Lake City. The retailer said in a March 2005 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission it was considering other fuel suppliers once its Citgo agreement ended.
The removal of the Citgo signs will be gradual, the company said. They will be removed from Dallas-based 7-Eleven's more than 2,100 locations by 2008.
7-Eleven was taken private by its Japanese parent company Seven & I Holdings Co. in November 2005.
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09-28-06, 01:18 AM #2Rookie
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I don't know, I have a feeling that 7-11 probably wasn't going to be using citgo anymore once the contract ended, and they kind of used this whole fiasco to their advantage. Just me, though
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