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U.S. Eyeing Russian Grip on Citgo’s Assets

Financial authorities in the U.S. say they are reviewing the Russian government’s growing grip on Citgo Petroleum Corp. amid growing concerns that Moscow is looking to use energy supplies as a political weapon. State and Treasury Department officials are reported to be worried by the amassed debt the Kremlin has acquired via its state-owned oil giant Rosneft in the U.S. unit of Citgo, which is owned by Venezuela’s increasingly troubled state-run oil industry. Rosneft’s stake is near a controlling interest, and officials fear a debt default could put the Kremlin in a prime position to engineer a takeover. “This is an issue that I’m aware of,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a congressional hearing Thursday. “I can assure you that this, like any other national-security issue, will be reviewed.” Citgo has three oil refineries in the U.S., in addition to nine pipelines and almost 50 petroleum platforms.