I have always believed and have never doubted that the auction would never take place. This conviction is stronger today than ever. Venezuela cannot afford to lose CITGO or even allow a minority shareholder. It needs CITGO to provide an outlet for its heavy crude at a premium, including the refining mark-up. A minority shareholder would complicate the management and control of CITGO in many unwanted ways.
The other compelling reason is that CITGO is a Delaware Corporation, whose BOD is required by law to put the company ahead of any other interests and to protect the interest of its shareholder, who in this case are the Venezuelan citizens, since the oil industry was nationalized a long-time ago for the benefit of the Venezuelan people. As such, the CITGO BOD will be in drowning in you-know-what and exposed to all kinds of legal and political risks if they fail to act accordingly. It is no wonder that CITGO hired JP Morgan at the beginning of 2022 precisely to have a strategy and be ready to spring into action once the DE action came to this point.
The award collection saga should be over this year, as the DE court will not allow it to run longer than strictly necessary. The timing for the distribution of the award is less clear because of the Chapter 15 proceedings and other shoes that need to drop in the interest of justice.