High-end Base Oils Keep Coming


Global mineral base oil capacity now tops 949,000 barrels per day, up 1.3 percent from a year ago, according to the 2008 Guide to Global Base Oil Refining. Worldwide, API Group II and III capacity each jumped 10 percent, naphthenic capacity rose 1.5 percent, while Group I capacity declined 1.7 percent.

Published this month by LubesnGreases Magazine, the completely updated 2008 Guide lists 165 of the worlds key mineral base oil plants, giving locations and capacities. The Guide includes more than a dozen rerefineries with hydrotreating or solvent refining processes and capacities of 800 b/d or greater.

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Global Group II capacity has reached nearly 200,000 b/d, up 10 percent over last year. Group III capacity now exceeds 45,300 b/d, also a 10 percent jump from 2007. Worldwide naphthenic capacity rose 1.5 percent, to more than 82,000 b/d.

Total Group I capacity, on the other hand, has slipped 1.7 percent, most notably in Central and Eastern Europe and North America, to less than 622,000 b/d. A year ago, Group I accounted for nearly 68 percent of the worlds total base oil capacity. Today its share has slipped to 65.5 percent.

Overall, North American base oil capacity rose 1 percent in the past year. However, Group I capacity in the region saw a 2,400 b/d decline from 2007 to 2008. Contributing to this decline were a 2,500 b/d reduction in reported capacity at ExxonMobils Beaumont, Texas, plant, and Evergreens shift of 800 b/d from Group I in 2007 to Group II in 2008. These Group I reductions were offset somewhat by a 900 b/d Group I capacity increase at Calumets Shreveport, La., refinery. Calumet also doubled its Group II capacity, to 7,000 b/d, boosting the regions Group II capacity by 3 percent. The announced closure of Marathon Petroleums 6,800 b/d Group I plant in Kentucky wont take place until the end of this year.

Reported Group I capacity dropped markedly in Central and Eastern Europe, from 137,140 b/d in 2007 to 128,900 b/d in 2008.

Koreas Group II and III capacity soared with the opening of the GS-Caltex plant in Yeosu, which added 12,000 new b/d of II and 4,000 new b/d of III.

Included in the Guide is a summary of upcoming capacity additions around the world. Nearly 81,000 b/d of Group II, III and gas-to-liquids base stocks are expected to come on stream over the next couple of years, plus more than 15,000 b/d of new naphthenic capacity.

The 2008 Guide to Global Base Oil Refining is the first of three annual base stock guides from LNG Publishing Co. In July, the regional Europe, Middle East and Africa Guide will be distributed to LubesnGreases Europe-Middle East-Africa subscribers, and in September, the 2008 Global Guide to Nonconventional Base Stocks (esters, silicones, PIBs, PAGs, PAO and more) will be published. Pathmaster Marketing Ltd. assisted in the compilation of data for the Guides.

For information about ordering the 2008 Guide to Global Base Oil Refining, visit http://www.LNGpublishing.com/base.htm

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