Base Oil Price Report


North American purchasers of Group II base oils were looking forward this week to the resumption of normal operations at Petro-Canadas Lubricant Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. The plant, which has capacity to produce 12,500 barrels per day of Group II and Group III stocks, has been operating at half capacity since being rocked by an explosion Aug. 21.

The company said during the second week of September that it planned to complete repairs and restart the damaged production train within one month. A spokesman could not be reached for comment yesterday, but buyers said they hoped the company would keep to its schedule.

It will be nice to get that plant on line again because availability of Group II has certainly tightened again, one purchaser said. Once that plant is back up to speed, all of the [continents] Group II producers will be at full strength, and thats something we havent had very often this year.

Base oil supply, especiallyGroup II, has been rent by an unusually high number of disruptions this year. Three plants underwent scheduled shutdowns for regular maintenance, at least two lost a week to power outages, and ExxonMobils Baytown, Texas, plant encountered operational problems that caused customers to be put on allocation.

ConocoPhillips has begun posting prices for Group III base oils that it is marketing for S-Oil Corp. Two grades – with viscosities of 3 cSt and 4 cSt – are available now and a third, an 8 cSt base oil, will be available next month. Grades of 2 cSt and 6 cSt will be made available if demand warrants. ConocoPhillips said the two companies decided to offer the 8 cSt instead of the 6 cSt because the former affords more flexibility across a wider range of applications.

The base oils are imported from S-Oils plant in Onsan, South Korea, and are priced FOB New Orleans.

Other principal suppliers left their posted prices for base oil unchanged this week. The price of crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed at $30.46 per barrel yesterday, $1.34 higher than the previous week.

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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