U.S. Base Oil Output Remains High

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U.S. Base Oil Output Remains High
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The United States produced 5.5 million barrels of base oil in September, topping the same month in 2020 by 23% and nearly matching the September 2019 total, according to the latest data from the federal Energy Information Administration. It was the fifth consecutive month that the base oil total topped the 5.4 million barrels mark.

The base oil volume produced in September was slightly higher than that produced in August.

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Production reached 16.6 million barrels for the third quarter, a 19% increase from the same period of 2020, when base oil production was in the early midst of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts. This year’s third quarter production total slightly exceeded the total in 2019’s third quarter.

Year-to-date through September, the nation’s base oil production reached 45.9 million barrels, 15% higher than 39.9 million barrels for the same period last year and 1% above the total for the first nine months of 2019.

September production of paraffinic base oils totaled 4.7 million barrels, according to the agency, a 23% increase from the same month in 2020, and slightly shy of the September 2020 total.

In the third quarter, paraffinic production rose to 14 million tons, topping by 18% the amount produced in the same period last year and just shy of the amount in 2019’s third quarter. Through the first three quarters, paraffinic base oil production rose to 38.6 million barrels, a 14% increase from 33.9 million barrels over the same time frame in 2020 and 2% above the volume for the period in 2019.

U.S. refiners made 816,000 barrels of naphthenic base oils in September, a 28% increase from 640,000 barrels in the same month last year, but 10% short of the 911,000 barrels mark in September 2020.

In the third quarter, naphthenic base oil production reached 2.6 million barrels, 29% higher than in the same period last year and slightly higher than the period’s total in 2019. Year-to-date through September, U.S. naphthenic base oil production totaled 7.3 million barrels, exceeding by 23% the total for the same period last year and just 4% shy of the volume for the period in 2019.

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