U.S. Base Oil Price Report


ExxonMobil, Motiva, ConocoPhillips, Calumet, Paulsboro Refining and SK are all serving up paraffinic posting hikes of 30 to 50 cents per gallon, while naphthenic producers are increasing prices 35 to 60 cents per gallon.

These moves follow Chevron and Holly increases earlier this month.

Direct buyers said that ExxonMobil raised its API Group I American Core grades today, April 13. According to its customers, ExxonMobil hoisted Group I 100, 150 and 330 vis by 35 cents/gal, and 600 vis and bright stock by 40 cents/gal. Group II+ EHC 45 (110 vis) and EHC 60 (190 vis) were pulled higher by 40 cents/gal as well.

On Thursday, April 14, Motiva will increase its Star 3 by 30 cents/gal, Star 4 and Star 6 by 33 cents/gal, Star 12 by 42 cents/gal, and its Group II+ Star 5+ by 40 cents/gal.

ConocoPhillips is shifting postings up, also on Thursday, April 14. The Group II 70, 80, 110 and 225 vis will go up 35 cents/gal, while the 600 goes up 40 cents/gal. Ultra S Group II+ grades rise 40 cents/gal, and Group III grades go up 50 cents/gal.

Calumet said it will up its full line of Group I and Group II paraffinic neutrals by 40 cents/gal on Thursday, April 14.

Paulsboro Refining Co. alerted its buyers of posted price hikes coming Monday, April 18. The company will up its 100 and 165 neutrals by 35 cents/gal, its 500 and 700 vis and bright stock by 40 cents/gal. Blended oils will also go up 40 cents/gal.

On Monday, April 18, SK will also raise all of its Group II+/III/III+ Yubase posted prices by 50 cents/gal.

Stepping out on the naphthenic sector, Ergon said it plans to push up its spectrum of pale oils between 35 cents/gal and 42 cents/gal on Friday, April 15.

Cross Oil announced that it will increase its line up of naphthenic grades between 35 and 60 cents/gal on Saturday, April 16. Although not defining how much each cut is to be raised, a company source said that the heavy ends would see the steeper increases and added that all pale oils are tight in supply.

On Monday, April 18, San Joaquin Refining will boost its range of naphthenic oils by 40 cents/gal across the board.

Calumet will follow suit with a flat 40 cents/gal increase for its band of pale oils, with an effective date of April 21.

Similarly, Nynas jumped on board, announcing a straight 40 cents/gal hike on all its naphthenics, effective May 1.

In all cases, producers and/or their customers indicated that rising feedstock costs alongside strong demand amid thin availability was pushing up prices.

Petro-Canada had shut down the catalytic dewaxing unit at its 15,600 b/d Mississauga, Ont., plant on April 1, following mechanical issues that affected production of all Group II+ and Group III base oils, and certain Group II base oils. The work is now complete, and the dewaxing unit has resumed operations.

Petro-Canada is now focused on maximizing production levels, a company spokesman said. The temporary supply allocation of impacted products remains in effect, but the company anticipates improvements in these levels in coming weeks.

At American Refining Group in Bradford, Pa., the crude unit has been restarted, with other units cascading online. The company hopes to produce finished base oils in seven to 10 days, sources said. All grades are tight, with mid-vis continuing to be on sales controls.

Looking upstream, after reaching a fresh high over $113/barrel on Monday, crude oil futures had their biggest two-day drop in 14 months on Monday and Tuesday. Helping tip the trend downward were warnings from the International Energy Agency and International Monetary Fund indicating that prices above $100/bbl could hurt the global economy. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. also forecast a substantial correction and advised its investors to jump out of the oil market.

Despite its nearly $7/bbl drop this week, crude oil prices were still around $106/bbl, and premiums for vacuum gas oil, Light Louisiana Sweet and foreign crudes utilized by U.S. Gulf Coasts refiners remained substantially higher, at $18/bbl to $23/bbl over WTI.

At the close of the Tuesday, April 13, NYMEX session, front month light sweet crude oil futures ended the day at $106.25 per barrel, a loss of $2.09 from the week earlier settlement at $108.34/bbl.

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

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