Profits Jump at GS Caltex, Hyundai Shell

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Profits Jump at GS Caltex, Hyundai Shell

South Korean base oil refiners GS Caltex and Hyundai Shell Base Oil both reported sharply higher operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2020, while net profit was down for Thai Oil Group’s base oil business.

GS Caltex

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GS Caltex reported operating profit of 75.9 billion South Korean won (U.S. $68.5 Million) for its base oil and lubricant business in the fourth quarter of 2020, up 100% from ₩37.9 billion won. Revenue for the quarter was down 6.8% at ₩279 billion.

For the full year, the company’s base oil and lubricant business’ operating profit was up 150% at ₩262.4 billion. Revenue for the full year was down 8% at ₩1.1 trillion.

The 50-50 joint venture of GS and Chevron has capacity to produce 26,000 barrels per day of Group II and III base oil at its plant in Yeosu and 9,000 b/d of finished lubricants at its blending plant in Incheon.

Hyundai Shell Base Oil

Hyundai Shell Base Oil reported a 445% increase in operating profit to ₩35.4 billion for the fourth quarter of 2020, up from ₩6.5 billion in 2019’s fourth quarter. Hyundai Oilbank said in its earnings statement that the base oil spread – the product price spread between base oil and high sulfur fuel oil prices in Asia – widened in the fourth quarter as base oil supply decreased, with a low utilization rate in line with a weak refining margin. Base oil product demand from major importers stayed firm in the quarter, the company noted.

For the full year operating profit reached ₩94.7 billion, up 1,313% from ₩6.7 billion. Full year sales dropped 29% to ₩571.2 billion.

The 60-40 joint venture between Hyundai Oilbank and Shell has 25,000 b/d of API Group II base oil production capacity at its plant in Daesan, South Korea.

Thai Oil

State-owned Thai Oil Group’s base oil business reported a 22% decline in net profit for the fourth quarter of 2020, to 390 million baht (U.S. $13 million), down from 502 million baht.

For the full year, net profit declined 15% to 910 million baht.

Thai Oil attributed the base oil business’ drop in performance in 2020 to lower average selling price, narrower byproduct spreads over fuel oil and less specialty product sales volume.

The base oil subsidiary reported 3.8 billion baht in revenue for the fourth quarter, a 13% decline from the same period of 2019. For the full year, revenue fell 23% to 14 billion baht.

The company said Thai Lube Base PLC’s sales revenue declined both quarter on quarter and year on year mainly because prices decreased in line with crude oil prices.

The company operates a base oil plant with 5,100 barrels per day of API Group I production capacity. The base oils are mainly used in industrial and marine lubricants and in engine oils for older engines.

The plant in Si Racha, Thailand, posted a base oil production rate of 93 percent of name plate capacity during the fourth quarter last year, up from 77% in 2019’s fourth quarter. This improvement was due to production plan optimization in response to better market conditions.

The full-year base oil production rate of 88 percent was up slightly from 83 percent for 2019.

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