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PDVSA Buys 25% Stake in Antigua Oil Refinery

Venezuela's Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino attends a meeting at Miraflores Palace in Caracas in this file photo taken on August 20, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Venezuela’s Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino attends a meeting at Miraflores Palace in Caracas in this file photo taken on August 20, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Venezuela signed an agreement this weekend with the government of Antigua and Barbuda to buy a 25 percent stake in the West Indies Oil Company (WIOC), Venezuela’s state petroleum company said.

Petróleos de Venezuela South America (PDVSA) gave no financial details for the purchase of the stake in the refinery and distribution company owned by the government of the Caribbean island nation.

OPEC member Venezuela has been seeking greater storage space in the region.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez and Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino, who is also PDVSA president, were in Antigua for the signing as part of a Caribbean tour.

“Under this agreement, PDVSA will obtain a 25 percent participation in WIOC and it represents the start of joint investments for the benefit of both nations’ peoples,” the PDVSA statement said Saturday, without adding any details on investment plans.

According to its website, the West Indies Oil Company, Ltd. began in 1965 when Natomas and Amaco International Oil established WIOC “to capitalize on a unique business opportunity.”

“First established as an oil refinery and distribution company in Antigua and Barbuda, WIOC then expanded its business reach in 1971 and opened a satellite terminal operation in Canefield, Dominica,” the company’s website said. “WIOC was sold to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in 1976 which then sold a 75 per cent of its shares to Bruce Rappaport of National Petroleum Ltd. in 1980. Now approaching a half century of continuous business operations, WIOC has earned a stellar reputation for safety within the international oil and petroleum services industry.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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