Base Oil Price Report


“When Baytown goes down, it’s an eclipse of the sun,” says one industry observer. “Baytown is the most influential refinery in North America.”

But what if Baytown decides not to go down?

ExxonMobil’s giant Baytown, Texas, refinery has decided to postpone a planned maintenance turnaround, from Nov. 1 until Feb. 1, 2003. There was some speculation that tight supplies of Group II-plus stocks may have been a factor in the delay.”They needed more Group II-plus,” said one base oil supplier. “Although Group II-plus is not as tight as two months ago, it is tight. The GF-4 delay may have helped.”

Not so, countered ExxonMobil.The decision had nothing to do with lubes. It was entirely internal factors, managing budgets and costs, not related to GF-4 or Group II-plus supply. But,the spokesmanadded, it didn’t hurt at all getting through the tight Group II market.

The delay in the Baytown turnaround may remove some of the pressure that was building for a price increase. “If ExxonMobil doesn’t have enough oil, prices will go up for Group II-plus,” one base oil marketer had said. On the other hand, with any morejumps in the price of crude, “I would not be surprised if ExxonMobil moved [prices] up by the end of August,” another marketer said.

Posted prices for paraffinic base oil in the United States were unchanged duringthe past week. Postings of principal U.S. suppliers are listed below.

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

Copyright 2002 LNG Publishing Co., Inc. All rights reserved.
Tim Sullivan, Editor. Lube Report, Lubes’n’Greases Magazine and Lubricants Industry Sourcebook are published by LNG Publishing Co., Inc.

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