LONDON – Despite an abundance of base oil manufacturing capacity, the past two years have felt awfully snug to base oil buyers worldwide. This is not due to one overriding cause – such as booming demand in China vacuuming up every loose barrel – but stems from an unfortunate series of bumps, glitches and sometimes painful refining choices, an ExxonMobil official said last week. Together, these factors have deflated the cushion that normally exists between global base oil demand and refiners ability to meet it.
By 2006, said X B Cox, global basestocks strategic planner at ExxonMobil Lubricants and Specialties, world base oil production should feel long again, and from 2007 through 2011 overall production will be more than ample to meet global demand – provided no new jolts occur.
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