U.S. Base Oil Price Report


ConocoPhillips and Cross Oil announced price hikes from as little as 10 cents to as much as 45 cents per gallon on API Group II and III and naphthenic base stocks.

Friday, July 11, ConocoPhillips raised all its API Group II neutrals. Light viscosity 70 and 80 neutrals went up by 10 cents/gal, while 110N rose 31 cents/gal and 225N moved up by 32 cents/gal. Heavy grade 600N climbed 30 cents/gal. The company also confirmed that all Group III Ultra-S grades jumped 45 cents/gal. ConocoPhillips markets S-Oils Group III oils in North America.

Cross plans to increase prices on all its naphthenic base and process oils between 25 and 40 cents per gallon, depending on grade, on Monday, July 21.

This set of increases was based largely on still-high feedstock costs and steep operating costs. Also, strong demand amid scant inventories is a key factor in bolstering posted prices.

The volatility of crude oil values is keeping everyone on his toes. The $5 to $8 per barrel swings in futures prices are hard to keep up with, said sources. Just when you think oil is going to take a serious dive, it rallies by $5 or more the next day, one player lamented.

In what appeared to be precautionary measures, base oil suppliers pushed up posted prices by an average of 50 cents/gal in recent weeks. These steps were efforts to protect ever-squeezed margins and to place postings well above alternative fuel prices, several sources explained.

Futures prices zipped up to new highs at $147 per barrel on July 11, but they began to retreat from those lofty levels earlier this week.

At the close of the Tuesday, July 15, NYMEX session, front-month oil futures settled at $138.74 per barrel, up $2.70/bbl from the $136.04 settlement reported one week earlier.

Carolyn L. Green, based in Houston, can be reached directly at carolynlgreen@gmail.com.

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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