Base Oil Price Report


North Americas supply of Group II base oils took another hitThursday, when a large explosion sidelined one of two product trains at Petro-Canadas Lubricant Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.

The plant is now operating at half capacity, but Petro-Canada said it has not yet determined the extent of damage and does not know when normal operations will resume.

An investigation is being conducted, so we are still assessing the damage and have not yet determined the process that will be required to repair it, Senior Communications Advisor Jon Hamilton said Monday.

The center, which has capacity to produce 12,500 barrels per day of Group II and Group III stocks, had been closed for the week leading up to the explosion because of the Aug. 14 blackout. Plant personnel were in the final stages of restarting the plant on Aug. 21 when an explosion ripped through the facilitys hydrotreater. Newspapers reported that the blast shook homes more than a mile away, but no one was injured.

Hamilton said the explosion should not affect Petro-Canadas ability to supply base oil customers.

We are filling customer orders and expect to meet normal customer needs, based on available inventories and supply that we have secured, he said.

The explosion had the attention of base oil buyers and sellers this week, not surprising in light of interruptions that have pestered the U.S. market this year. Supply of Group II in particular has been tightened by several shutdowns – some scheduled and some not. Observers said yesterday that it is too soon to predict whether the Mississauga mishap will have much of an impact.

Its going to depend on exactly what was damaged and how soon they can fix it, one buyer said. We all know that the Group II market was tight already.

Posted prices for base oils in the United States were unchanged this week. The price of crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed at $32.02 per barrel yesterday, $1.30 higher than a week earlier.

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

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