Base Oil Price Report


With December nearly half over, the U.S. base oil market is still waiting for ExxonMobils Beaumont, Texas, plant to resume operations. The facility has been closed since a few days before the landfall of Hurricane Rita, and the company declined yesterday to say when it will reopen.

The Beaumont plant, which has capacity to make 12,500 barrels per day of Group I stocks, was one of four base oil plants that were temporarily closed by Rita. The others – Citgos plant at Lake Charles, La., the Excel Paralubes joint venture at Westlake, La., and Motivas Port Arthur, Texas, plant – all resumed production during the second half of October.

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Market sources said previously that ExxonMobils plant remained offline longer because it was difficult, in the hurricanes aftermath, to conduct a previously scheduled maintenance turnaround. Those sources said in November that the company expected to reopen Beaumont by mid-December.

An ExxonMobil spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that the plant remained closed for a turnaround but declined to discuss when it might return to operations. The company previously confirmed that it had imposed sales allocations on light- and mid-weight solvent neutrals, which are produced at Beaumont.

Posted prices for paraffinic base oils in the United States were unchanged again this week. The price of crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed yesterday at $61.37 per barrel according to Bloomberg,up $1.30from a week earlier.

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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