Base Oil Price Report


Excel Paralubes has moved up to June a maintenance turnaround that had been scheduled to begin in October, market sources told Lube Report yesterday. The early closure is expected to further tighten supply of Group II base oils, already snug due to a shortage of Group II-plus.

The company’sWestlake, La., plant is the Western Hemisphere’s second-largest base oil refinery,with capacity to produce 21,500 barrels per day of Group II. Excel Paralubes is a 50-50 joint venture between ConocoPhillips and Shell Oil Co., whichisselling its stake to Flint Hills Resources, a subsidiary of Koch Industries.

Officials at ConocoPhillips, managing partner of the plant, could not be reached for comment yesterday. Observers suggested that accelerating the closing date could limit the plants ability tobuild inventories ahead of the shutdown. Sources say supply of Group II has already beenconstricted because Motiva has shifted production at its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery from Group II to Group II-plus to help the market cope with a Group II-plus shortage caused by production problems at ExxonMobils Baytown, Texas, plant.

Group II is already kind of snug, a base oil marketer said. The expectation would be that its going to get tighter.

Crude oil costs rose during the past week on news of declining oil inventories and terrorist bombings in Saudi Arabia Monday. The price of crude on the New York Mercantile Exchangeyesterdayclosed at $28.44 per barrel, up from $25.72 per barrel a week earlier.

Posted prices for U.S. paraffinic base oils were unchanged.

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

Copyright 2003 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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