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    CITGO Replaces Contreras

    Board member Luis Marin named president and CEO of the Oklahoma refiner/marketer.

    TULSA, Okla. -- Just days after being hailed by industry media as the savior of CITGO Petroleum Corp., turns out Oswaldo Contreras may not have been the right man for the job at CITGO after all.

    Yesterday, Contreras, president and CEO of the Tulsa, Okla.-based oil company, was fired and replaced by board member Luis Marin.

    CITGO Petroleum Corp., the nation's fourth-largest gasoline retailer and a unit of Venezuela's national oil company, said the change is effective Aug. 1. CITGO spokesman Kent Young said PDVSA has not told CITGO why Contreras was replaced.

    "He's not in another position," Young told the Associated Press. "The announcement was that he has been replaced by Luis Marin. That's all we know at this point."

    CITGO chairman Aires Barreto praised Contreras' efforts leading the company during the two-month strike by opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The labor stoppage crippled the country's oil production. Marin joined PDVSA in 1980 after graduating with a natural gas engineering degree from the University of Oklahoma. He has held a variety of positions at the state-run oil concern.

    Contreras, a brigadier general in the Venezuelan army, was appointed CITGO's president and CEO in Oct. 2000.

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