Venezuela cuts off oil pipeline for 200,000 US homes
Venezuelacuts off oil pipeline for 200,000 US homes
From correspondents in Washington
January 07, 2009 09:58am
SOME 200,000 US households will no longer get cheap
heating oil from Venezuela after the state-owned CITGO subsidiary announced it
was dropping the program due to falling oil prices.
Energy has recently been informed by CITGO that due to falling oil prices and
the world economic crisis, CITGO has been forced to re-evaluate all their
social programs, including the heating oil program,” Citizen Energy
Corporation spokesman Brian O’Connor said.
to 200,000 households throughout the US” benefited from the Venezuelan program
since 2005, he said, adding that Venezuelan oil donations in 2007 amounted to
$100 million ($138 million).
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2005 irked the administration of President
George W. Bush when he announced the cheap heating oil program for US
households in the midst of rising oil prices.
branded the offer as propaganda.
July, however, the price of oil has plummeted from $US130 a barrel to a little
over $US27, raising concerns in Venezuela, which derives 90 per cent of its
foreign currency revenues from oil.
government gets half its funding from oil.
Energy president Joseph Kennedy II said he personally appealed to Mr
Chavez to keep the discount oil program running, to no avail.
O’Connor said the group was warned weeks ago by Citgo
of its impending decision, which he regretted came as a shock "not only in
the middle of the winter, but in the middle of an economic shot,” referring to
the global economic crisis.