Base Oil Output, Demand Rise in India

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Refiners in India increased base oil production by 8% for the fiscal year ended March 31, leaning on a recent expansion at a plant operated by Indian Oil Corp. Ltd.

The country remains one of the world’s largest base oil importers, though, as consumption rose 11% to partially rebound from a drop last year.

In-country refiners churned out 1.4 million metric tons of base oil in India’s 2023-2024 fiscal year, according to a report from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, up from 1.3 million tons in 2022-2023.

During the year IOCL opened a 255,000 ton per year API Group II expansion at its base oil plant in Haldia. The nation’s base oil production capacity is now 1.46 million t/y, according to Lubes’n’Greases Base Stock Plant Data.

Several other projects have been announced that would roughly double capacity within three years.

The ministry’s report said base oil consumption reached 4.1 million t/y in the recently completed fiscal year, up from 3.7 million tons in 2022-2023. The new level equaled consumption in 2020-2021 but was still lower than the 4.5 million tons consumed in 2021-2022.

Those base oil consumption levels exceed the amount of finished lubricants consumed in India but include base oils used to make lubricants that are exported to foreign markets, along with a significant amount of base oils used to make other types of products ranging from pharmaceuticals to hair oil.

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