Base Oil Price Report


ExxonMobils Beaumont, Texas, base oil plant still has not returned to operation since Septembers Hurricane Rita, market sources say, and now does not expect to restart until early to mid-December. Sources told Lube Report last week that thecompany attributed the delay to difficulty conducting a maintenance turnaround in the wake of the storm.

Without confirming or denying that Beaumont is still shut, ExxonMobil told Lube Report it is facing constraints on availability of base oils and said it cannot speculate on the duration of the situation. It did confirm having imposed allocations on light- and middle-weight oils, though it did not specify the size of the caps. Sources said the company is restricting customers to 70 percent of normal orders on mid-grades with viscosities of 275 SUS and above, and 90 percent of lighter grades.

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The Beaumont plant reportedly had been scheduled for a maintenance shutdown of five weeks to six weeks beginning in the second half of September, and closed to begin the work a few days before Ritas Sept. 24 arrival. Sources said the company apparently was not able to perform the maintenance after the hurricane, whose center passed almost directly over Beaumont.

ExxonMobil said it is taking steps to mitigate supply impacts for Beaumont customers.

ExxonMobils plant was one of four on the U.S. Gulf Coast to be knocked out by the hurricane. The other three – Citgos plant in Lake Charles, La., the Excel Paralubes plant in Westlake, La., and Motivas Port Arthur, Texas, facility – have all resumed operations.

ExxonMobil had already imposed allocations on two other base oils, its EHC 30 and EHC 45. The former is a Group II oil produced at the companys Baton Rouge, La.,plant, the latter a Group II-plus stock produced at its Baytown, Texas, plant.

The price of crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed yesterday at $59.53 per barrel according to Bloomberg,down27 centsfrom a week ago.Posted paraffinic base oil prices are unchanged this 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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