U.S. Base Oil Price Report

Excel Paralubes, HollyFrontier, Petro-Canada, Avista Oil and Calumet jumped on the bandwagon of those paraffinic base oil producers who increased posted prices over the past couple of weeks.

Excel Paralubes communicated that it had lifted prices for its API Group II Pure Performance base oils by 19 cents per gallon as of Oct. 10.

HollyFrontier lifted its Group I grades by 20 cents/gal, with the exception of bright stock, which was adjusted up by 10 cents/gal, effective Oct. 12.

Along similar lines, Petro-Canada was heard to have increased its Group II and II+ cuts by 20 cents/gal on Oct. 12, but left its Group II+ 65 and Group III cuts intact.

Avista Oil's Group II base oil cut was also marked up by 20 cents/gal, with the hike going into effect on Oct. 15. The price of Avista's Group III oil remained unchanged.

Calumet indicated that it would be lifting the price of all its paraffinic base oils by 20 cents per gallon on Oct. 17.

Motiva seemed to be sitting this round of increases out for the time being, and there were no price revisions reported for any of the Group III base oils either.

ExxonMobil was reported to have spearheaded the round of price hikes, with the producer lifting its Group I, II and II+ posted prices by 20 cents/gal on Oct. 10, and other suppliers implementing similar increases.

Naphthenic producers have also completed a string of price hikes, with numbers for pale oils moving up by 15 cents/gal between Sept. 28 and Oct. 4.

Base stock suppliers reiterated that the posted price increases were necessary because of steep crude oil and feedstock costs, and that the upward revisions were further supported by tightening supply of a number of cuts.

Upstream, crude oil futures recovered territory lost over the last few trading sessions as lower Iran exports offset an increase in United States oil supplies.

Iran exported close to 1.5 million barrels per day of crude in the first two weeks of October, down from 2.5 million b/d in April, CNBC.com reported.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia continued to face political pressure over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi embassy in Turkey. U.S.-Saudi ties were said to be strained, and the disappearance has also provoked international outcry and concerns that supplies from the world's top crude exporter may be affected.

On Tuesday, Oct. 16, West Texas Intermediate October futures settled at $71.92 per barrel on the CME/Nymex, down $3.04/bbl from $74.96/bbl on Oct. 9.

Brent was trading at $81.41/bbl on the CME Tuesday afternoon, and had settled at $85/bbl on Oct. 9.

Light Louisiana Sweet crude wholesale spot prices settled at $79.47/bbl on Oct. 15, compared to $82.77/bbl on Oct. 8, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Low sulfur vacuum gas oil was at Nov. WTI crude plus $17/bbl ($88.78/bbl) and high sulfur was at crude plus $16/bbl ($87.78/bbl) on Oct. 15. By comparison, low sulfur VGO was hovering at $92.04/bbl and high sulfur VGO at $91.04/bbl on Oct. 8, according to data published by PetroChemWire.

Historic U.S. posted base oil prices and WTI and Brent crude spot prices are available for purchase inExcel format.