Base Oil Price Report


Valeros Paulsboro, N.J. base oil refinery has been shut down while the company brings up a new low-sulfur gasoline unit. ExxonMobil, Motiva, ConocoPhillips, Citgo and Calumet are raising posted paraffinic base oil prices from 2 to 7 cents per gallon over the next several days. Other refiners are expected to follow suit.

Terry Hoffman, lube base oil sales director at Valero Marketing and Supply Co., confirmed yesterday that Valeros Paulsboro base oil plant is experiencing unexpected down time. We took the lube crude unit down last Saturday for two weeks, to inspect and clean, Hoffman told Lube Report. The plants lube oil capacity is 11.5 thousand barrels per day.

Valero is adding new hardware to the gasoline refinery, Hoffman explained, and had to shut down the lube crude unit in order to bring up the new low-sulfur gasoline unit. As a result, Hoffman said Valero is tight on low-viscosity base stocks, but the unplanned shutdown has no effect on heavy neutrals and bright stocks.

Sources report that ExxonMobil announced an increase in its posted paraffinic base oil prices effective today, of 3 cents per gallon on low-viscosity stocks, 5 cents on 600, 3 cents on its Group II-plus EHC45, and 7 cents on bright stock.

Several other refiners quickly followed suit. Citgo reported similar increases in its posted paraffinic base stock prices, also effective today. ConocoPhillips announced similar increases effective tomorrow, and Calumet is raising its postings by similar amounts effective May 10. Motiva announced similar increases effective tomorrow on Group II stocks, but no increase on its 4.5 cSt Group II-plus stock.

Flint Hills, which has just begun posting Group II prices, reports no changes today. Valero plans to increase posted prices effective May 10, but has not yet announced its increases. Base oil buyers are anticipating an announcement from ChevronTexaco.

Group III postings are unchanged this week, but one supplier is pondering the situation. Lube Report was unable to reach Sunoco yesterday for information about changes, if any, to its postings.

The price of crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed yesterday at $38.82, up $1.36 from the previous week. All of the price changes reported above are included in this weeks chart.

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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