Base oil activity remained fairly low-key for much of the past week, while posted prices held firm. However, a sudden uptick in demand emerged Monday once the market learned that an operational incident occurred at the Motiva Port Arthur refinery over the weekend, causing a temporary shutdown.
On Saturday morning, Motiva encountered a flange leak on a heater at the lube hydrocracker, which flared causing a fire. According to sources, the fire was quickly extinguished and there were no injuries or casualties reported during the plant disturbance. It was understood, however, that Motiva had to take the impaired unit offline temporarily while the problem is being rectified. As of Tuesday, sources did not know when operations would return to normal.