SK, Lithcon Part Ways


SK and Lithcon Petroleum USA have jointly agreed not to renew their 12-year marketing agreement when it expires at the end of August, and SK will begin marketing its Yubase-branded API Group III base oils directly in the Americas June 1.

As part of SKs shift in marketing strategy, two new employees will join his base oil team June 1, Y.M. Park, Houston-based general manager of SK E&P Co., told Lube Report. Beth Fields, formerly Lithcon vice president of marketing, will become Yubase sales manager for the Americas. Mike Brown, who spent 11 years with BP Castrol and 14 years with ExxonMobil Research & Engineering, will become Yubase technical manager.

Reasons for the shift include sales growth in the Americas, Park said, emphasizing that the decision to let the marketing agreement expire was mutual. SK appreciates Lithcons contribution to its successful Americas market entry and positioning over the past 12 years, he said.

The understanding was mutual, and we wish them great success, Charles Ho, Lithcons chief operating officer in Houston, told Lube Report. Our goal was to help them enter the Americas market, and weve done that. They have the capability to market directly.

Ho noted that, while Lithcon continues to work on several base oil projects, were now out of the business of marketing Group III oils.

SKs shift to direct marketing applies only to the Americas, Park said. SKs agency relationships with B&N Oilchemical Ltd. in Europe and with other marketing agents elsewhere are unchanged.

Seoul, Korea-based SK Energy has capacity to produce 5,000 barrels per day of Group II and 16,000 b/d of Group III base stocks at its Ulsan refinery. In addition, its joint venture with Pertamina in Dumai, Indonesia, is scheduled to come on stream at the end of 2008, with capacity to produce 7,250 b/d of Group III stocks.

Related Topics

Market Topics