Shipments of API Group I base oils from Iran face disruption following United States President Donald Trumps decision to pull out of the 2015 agreement for Iran to rollback its nuclear program as fears of a trade blockade increase.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. expects to complete formulation approvals for ADbase, a range of API Group II and Group III base oils, within the next year. Speaking on the sidelines of the Base Oil & Lubes Middle East 2018 conference held in Abu Dhabi, an executive said Adnoc is also expanding into new markets in Asia.
API Group II base stocks have carved a place for themselves in Europe during the past decade, and an Infineum official noted recently that several new suppliers are now entering the market.
The Lubricant Producers Association of Nigeria has asked the national government to prevent one of its agencies from imposing a new fee on base oil imports, claiming they will drive up finished lubricant prices.
Lubricant demand has been essentially flat over the past 25 years, yet millions of tons of new annual base oil capacity has come to market since the year 2000. The rate of additions has far out-paced plant closings, creating surpluses that have ramped up competition and put some base oil suppliers in a precarious position, an analyst explained at an industry event in London.
A plant in Nizhnekamsk restarted its polyalphaolefin production after an eight-year hiatus that was due to lack of feedstock supply and sanctions imposed by the international community on several Russian oil majors.
Luberef announced last week that it has completed a long-awaited upgrade and expansion of its base oil plant in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, and that API Group II stocks are now being shipped from the facility.
The economies of countries in Central and Eastern Europe have been relatively buoyant in recent years, making their small and fragmented lube markets worthwhile to outsiders, an official with Hungarian lube maker Mol-Lub Ltd. said at a recent conference in Antwerp.