Houston, Texas has won and Tulsa, Oklahoma has lost in a bidding war over the headquarters of Citgo Petroleum, a refining and distribution company that is owned by Venezuela's state-run oil company. The move will begin immediately, but will take three years to complete.
Over the next three years Citgo executives will find a building to house their headquarters here in Houston and will move 700 of the 1,000 jobs from the current location in Tulsa. Citgo's Chief Executive Officer, Luis Marin, says the move makes sense for his company because 90 percent of its vendors and customers are also based here.
Mr. Marin says the move is part of a very long-range plan to expand Citgo's future operations. "We are the only corporation that can guarantee to be in this business for the next 100 years," he said. "Our decision is based on the future. We are making the decision looking to the future."
Citgo announced in August that it was considering a move to Houston, setting off a several-month-long competition between Houston and Tulsa, where local officials wanted the company to stay. The state of Texas also played a role. Governor Rick Perry invited Mr. Marin and some of his company executives to the American football spectacular called the Super Bowl, which was held in Houston on February 1. There has been no official announcement yet as to what incentives Houston and the state of Texas may have given Citgo to cinch the deal.
Citgo already operates a refinery in the Houston area under a joint venture with the Lyondell Chemical company. Citgo also operates more than 13,000 gasoline stations in the United States and asphalt refineries in New Jersey and Georgia. Overall the company employs around 4,000 people.
The company, which is owned by Petroleos de Venezuela, the South American nation's government-owned oil company, reported revenues of $25.2 billion last year.