Base Oil Price Report


Motivas Port Arthur, Texas, base oil plant last week emerged a few days early from its maintenance shutdown, market sources said.

It was the only major turnaround for the U.S. paraffinic market this winter, the most popular season for maintenance work. Citgos plant in Lake Charles, La., underwent a turnaround earlier, but that event interrupted production of bright stock only.

Sources said the shutdown at Port Arthur did not appear to have affected deliveries from the plant, which is North Americas biggest. In January 2004, the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association listed the facility as having capacity to make 22,000 barrels per day of Group II stocks. The capacity increased after a turnaround later in the year, but Motiva has not said by how much.

In the midst of the markets winter lull, observers said demand and supply appear generally balanced in the paraffinic market. Buyers and sellers cited two exceptions: bright stock remains very tight, while supply of medium-weight Group I stocks is described as cramped.

Posted prices for paraffinics remained unchanged for the 16th consecutive week. The price of crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed at $51.17 per barrel, $3.87 higher than 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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