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    Increased Capacity at Refineries Boosts Citgo Earnings

    Company made $63.4 million more than same period last year.

    TULSA, Okla. -- Increased fuel production at its refineries helped Citgo Petroleum Corp.'s second-quarter profit surge 58 percent over the year-earlier period that included a one-time insurance gain, reported the Associated Press.

    The Tulsa-based refiner and marketer of gasoline, other fuels and petrochemicals earned $172.1 million in the three months that ended June 30, compared with $108.7 million a year earlier. The second quarter of 2003 included a $26.6 million in insurance benefits, Citgo said.

    Sales increased to $8.1 billion from $6 billion as capacity at Citgo's light oils refineries increased to 99 percent from 97 percent a year earlier, the company reported.

    For the first six months of 2004, Citgo, a wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., earned $206.8 million on sales of $14.7 billion. As a subsidiary of the national oil company of Venezuela, Citgo has no publicly traded shares, but the company reports certain financial data because it sells bonds in U.S. markets.

    Citgo, which operates or has interest in six U.S. fuel or asphalt refineries and serves 14,000 retail outlets, announced in April that it will move its headquarters to Houston.

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