Hurricane Katrina laid some punches on the U.S. lubricant industry as it barreled ashore Monday. Chevron Oronites main additive plant in the United States was caught up in the devastation that overwhelmed New Orleans, as was a primary terminal for Group III base oils marketed by ConocoPhillips. Both companies said little information was available about the status of facilities, making it impossible to predict when they might reopen.
The monster storm also appeared to have shut down a few blending plants, although scant information was available due to communication disruptions. Industry observers said damage may complicate rail, river and road transportation for the Midwest, but added that they do not expect those problems to be serious or lasting.
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