Marathon Lubes Plant Winding Down?

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Although Marathon said theres no change in status for its Catlettsburg, Ky., base oil plant, sources told Lube Report that company representatives indicate the shut down of the plant may come sooner than originally expected.

On April 22, Marathon begin notifying customers of its plans, prior to year-end, to discontinue production of base oils, slack waxes and extracts and permanently shut down the plant, which has 6,800 barrels per day of API Group I capacity. The company said it would work to fill orders for lube plant products until that time.

Thats still where things stand, Marathon spokesman Robert Calmus told Lube Report yesterday. Theres been no deviation from that plan. The plants still operational.

An industry source told Lube Report, We were told they were going down earlier than expected, and that they would be working on a production and shipping schedule to finish out their inventory. A large customer – who also buys from Marathon – of this source was told basically the same thing.

So it sounds to me like they are already down, and just working off inventory, the source said. I dont believe theres a whole lot of inventory there to begin with. Its rather short notice, and theyre going down rather quickly from what I understand.

A base oil buyer said they were notified via phone by Marathon last week of its intention to begin closing down things with their existing customers for the plants products.

If theyre not down, right this minute, theyre going down, the buyer told Lube Report. As of last week, their exact words were, we are not accepting any more purchase orders.

Another source said it did not appear that Marathon was still manufacturing base oils.

Were hearing theres nothing going on there, although I think their contract customers still might be getting some supply, because they held some over from inventory, the source said. From what we can tell, the lube plants down.

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