Fire Chokes Sunocos Bright Stock


Bright stock production at Sunocos Tulsa, Okla., base oil plant was halted by a March 23 fire, but the company said it expects to resume operations next week. Officials declined to say whether deliveries had been affected.

No one was injured by the blaze, which began at 10:45 a.m. at the refinerys propane deasphalting plant and which burned for a few hours. Sunoco did not say what caused the fire or provide a damage estimate. The company did say the fire was contained to the deasphalting unit and that all other units, including the base oil plant, were operating normally later that day.

The deasphalting unit, however, provides feedstock used to produce bright stock, meaning that production of bright stock has ceased until the damaged unit begins operating again. Spokeswoman Jessica Klassen said yesterday that the company plans to gradually restart it next week.

The interruption comes at a time when bright stock prices have been rising relative to other cuts of base oil. Market observers have attributed the escalation to strong export demand, as well as rising production costs for base oils in general.

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