(Adds background and details on move)
By Alexandra Ulmer and Deisy Buitrago
CARACAS, June 6 Venezuela has offered the
presidency of state oil company PDVSA to Oil Minister Nelson
Martinez, three sources with knowledge of the situation said on
Tuesday, a move seen as heralding little if any change for the
OPEC nation's struggling energy industry.
The three people, two PDVSA sources and one industry source,
asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to
speak to the media.
Martinez, an industry veteran who is close to President
Nicolas Maduro, used to run U.S.-based refiner Citgo Petroleum
Corp. He was named oil minister in January and
sources say he has gradually been accumulating more clout in
Venezuela's oil industry.
Rumors have been rife inside Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A.,
better known as PDVSA, and in the wider oil sector that company
President Eulogio del Pino would depart soon and be replaced by
Some foreign executives and investors had feared that Maduro
would replace Del Pino, a Stanford-educated engineer, with a
political or military official.
Martinez, however, is respected for his leadership of Citgo
and decades of experience in the oil sector.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week Del Pino was
going to be a candidate in Maduro's controversial new
PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Girish Gupta and Alexandra Ulmer; additional
reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Richard Chang and Tom