Base Oil Price Report


The fire at ExxonMobils Pulau Ayer Chawan facility on Jurong Island, Singapore, last Thursday, May 3, which killed three workers and shut down a 13,000 barrel per day lubricant base stock refinery, is not expected to affect supplies, the company contends.

ExxonMobils Singapore Pulau Ayer Chawan refinery experienced a fire in an overhead heat exchanger last Thursday. Two people were killed immediately in the fire, and two were taken to intensive care at the local hospital. One of the latter workers died Saturday, according to published reports.

The fire affected one crude distillation unit at the site, which includes two units with a total capacity of 309,000 b/d. The affected unit processes 155,000 b/d and feeds the lubes unit that has a rated capacity of 13,000 b/d of Group I base stocks.

The company said that it would continue to satisfy customer demands. According to a company spokesperson, the crude distillation unit was shut down after the fire and will be started up when it is safe to do so. ExxonMobils Singapore refinery operations include two refineries processing a total of 605,000 b/d and have a capacity of 13,000 b/d of Group I and 18,000 b/d of Group II base stocks.

In the United States, spot prices for paraffinic lubes trended up slightly on grades 100, 150, and 300, which were reported as tightening last week. Refiners contacted regarding U.S. operations all reported normal levels of output.

Posted paraffinic base oil prices are unchanged in the United States this week. Crude closed at $62.26 per barrel yesterday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to Bloomberg. That was$2.14 below the price a week ago.

Publishers note: Guest contributor Donna M. Couch, principal of Couch Consultants, retired from ExxonMobil, where she spent over 33 years with Humble, Exxon and ExxonMobil in lubricants, greases, solvents, wax, white oils and process oils. She invites readers input and can be reached at

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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