U.S. Base Oils Continue to Sag


U.S. Base Oils Continue to Sag

Base oil production in the United States declined 7% in July – continuing a year-long trend – although naphthenic production sported a 5% increase for its first year-on-year improvement this year, according to data released by a government agency last week.

Total base oil output decreased to 4.8 million barrels in July, compared to 5.1 million barrels in the same month last year, the U.S. Energy Information Agency reported. The 4.8 million barrels near the high end for this year, which has ranged between a low of 3.9 million barrels in March and a high of 5.1 million barrels in May.

Historically, the July base oil production volume this year was the lowest production for July since August 2009, when the U.S. only produced 4.5 million barrels.

Year-to-date through July total U.S. base oil production fell 11% to 31.5 million barrels, compared to 35.2 million barrels.

Paraffinic production in the country decreased 8% to 4 million barrels. That marked the third time paraffinic production reached 4 million barrels this year, along with 4.3 million barrels in May and 4.2 million barrels in January.

Naphthenic production reached 767,000 barrels in July, compared to 749,000 barrels. It was the third highest such production this year, behind 789,000 barrels in April and 783,000 barrels in May. That was also the first time such production showed a year-on-year increase in the U.S. since November 2021, when it was up 1% at 783,000 barrels.