ConocoPhillips (COP) Petrozuata BV asked a Texas judge to let it investigate claims Venezuela ’s state-owned oil company is secretly liquidating U.S. assets to avoid paying a potential multibillion-dollar arbitration award over the nationalization of ConocoPhillips’ assets in 2007. Petroleos de Venezuela ’s principal U.S. asset is Houston-based Citgo Petroleum Corp., which owns three refineries and a distribution network comprised of numerous pipelines and terminals. The Venezuelan government publicly said in September and October that it was no longer trying to sell Citgo, in deals with price tags estimated from $7 billion to $15 billion, according to court papers. “The available evidence indicates that PDVSA is liquidating its interests in Citgo to remove the proceeds from the United States to Venezuela or elsewhere with the specific intent to hinder, delay or defraud its creditors,” including the company’s “ability […]