Base Oil Price Report


Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. planned by today to shut down its base oil refinery in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, due to a 17-day strike that has hamstrung Venezuelas oil industry.

An official at Nynas, PDVSAs shipping partner, told Lube Report yesterday that the Curacao refinery was to be shut down yesterday or today. He added, however, that Nynas will continue to meet orders, at least for the time being.

There wont be much impact immediately because we have stored volume and can cover [orders] from our other facilities, Supply Chain Director Per Dahlstedt said. It shouldnt affect our customers unless its a prolonged strike.

Nynas, which is based in Stockholm, Sweden, is owned jointly by PDVSA and Finnish oil company Fortum. It handles shipping for PDVSA.

The Curacao complex includes a naphthenic base oil refinery with capacity of more than 3,800 barrels per day. Dahlstedt said the largest portion of that production goes to Latin America but that the United States receives the next largest share. According to a recent study by Lithcon Petroleums Joe Rousmaniere, Curacao is the third-largest source of U.S. base oil imports and the countrys largest source of imported naphthenics.

Dahlstedt said Nynas hoped to continue loading inventory from Curacao if staffing could be found in the midst of the strike. He insisted that customers would not be affected if Nynas is forced to cover orders from other facilities. Among those facilities is a Swedish refinery with twice the naphthenic capacity of Curacao.

The major grades are interchangeable with oils from our other facilities, Dahlstedt said. For orders where we do not produce something that is interchangeable, we will obtain it. It may mean some extra cost and work for us but our customers will not be affected.

The strike at PDVSA has been largely blamed for a rise in oil prices the past couple weeks. The price of oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange was unchanged yesterday, closing at $30.10 per barrel. Principal U.S. base oil suppliers maintained their posted prices this week.

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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