Base Oil Price Report


The U.S. base oil market had some good supply news for a change last week. Excel Paralubes resumed production Thursday, three days ahead of schedule.

The Westlake, La., refinery, a 50-50 joint venture between ConocoPhillips and Shell Oil Products US (which is selling its stake to Flint Hills Resources Inc.), is churning out barrels to rebuild inventories. WithExcel Paralubesback online, all of North Americas major refineries are operating normally for the first time since February.

Were finally at a point where nobody appears to be having problems, one marketer observed. This ought to be good for supply.

Excel Paralubes is the second-largest base oil refinery in North America, with capacity to produce 21,500 barrels per day of Group II stocks. ConocoPhillips said its inventories dipped to minimal levels during the shutdown, but that it did not miss deliveries or resort to allocations.

The turnaround at Excel Paralubes – originally scheduled for fall – was one of several disruptions at base oil plants during the first half of the year. ExxonMobils Baytown, Texas, plant and Motivas Port Arthur, Texas, refinery both underwent scheduled winter turnarounds. Operational problems that developed after the turnaround at Baytown led to allocations that were scheduled to end yesterday. In addition, Baytown and Excel Paralubes both suffered unscheduled shutdowns due to power outages.

Supply in the market was further hampered by Shells closure of its Deer Park, Texas, base oil plant and by temporary increases in U.S. exports to Latin America to help meet shortages caused by last winters strike at Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. Observers say production at all three of PDVSAs refineries appear to have returned to normal levels.

Crude oil costs on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed at $30.46 per barrel yesterday, up $1.58 from a week earlier. U.S. paraffinic base oil postings were unchanged, as they have been for the past four months.

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

Related Topics

Base Oil Pricing Report    Base Stocks    Market Topics    Other