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Shell Leaps Forward in China

Shell China Holdings BV has acquired a75percent share in Beijing Tongyi Petroleum Chemical Co. Ltd., Chinas leading independent lubricant blender. The transaction makes Shell the leading international energy company marketing lubes in China, and gives it the third-largest share of Chinas hot-paced lubricants market (behind state entities PetroChina and Sinopec). Shell said the deal increased its share of the worlds finished lubricants volume by 8percent, giving it approximately 16 percent of the global branded lubricants market.

Still 25 percent owned by Beijing Bailiwei Science and Technology Development Corp. Ltd., Tongyi is well-known for the shrewd marketing of its Monarch brand motor oils, two-cycle oils, heavy-duty and industrial oils. It has three lube oil blending plants in China with total annual capacity of 600,000 tons. Shell already had three lube blending plants in China, with some 200,000 t/y of capacity.

Cross Oil is Sold

Cross Oil Refining & Marketing Inc., the Smackover, Ark., base oil producer and lubricant blender packager, is being acquired by Martin Resource Management, Cross Chairman and CEO Denny McConathy and Martins COO Don Neumeyer jointly announced in September. Cross is one of only six U.S. refiners of naphthenic base oils, with capacity to make 5,000 b/d. It also blends and packages finished lubricants for the private label market and under its own Xtreme and Gard brands. Martin, based in Kilgore, Texas, is a provider of transportation, terminalling, marketing and logistics management services.

Cross officials said McConathy,Crosss largest stakeholder,decided to sell because he is retiring. Martin Resources President Ruben Martin told, Weve been doing business with Cross for many years and we already supply a lot of their crude. It was something that became available and seemed like a good opportunity.

Greif Scoops Up Delta Petroleum

Moving from making containers to making whats inside them, Delaware, Ohio-based Greif Inc. has purchased lubricant compounder and packager Delta Petroleum Co. Delta, with revenues of more than $182 million, was sold by investment firm Riverside Co. but terms of the deal were not disclosed. All Delta operations were included in the deal: Olympic Oil, Delta Rocky Mountain Petroleum, Delta Chemical Services,

Delta Petroleum, Vulsay and Delta Atlantic. In all, the wide-flung company blends, packages and distributes more than 200 million gallons of lubricants, chemicals and glycol-based products a year.

Greif (which rhymes with life) is a diversified manufacturer of steel, plastic and fiber drums, corrugated and other packaging products. The $2.4 billion company claims to be the worlds leading supplier of industrial packaging.

SPI Goes Buy Buy

Global Petroleum, the wholly owned subsidiary and holding company of SPI Petroleum LLC, has acquired Pecos Inc. and Canyon State Oil, two of the largest lube distributors in the western United States. Headquartered in Rancho Dominguez, Calif., Pecos supplies fuels, lubricants and petroleum related services to the marine, commercial and industrial sectors of the West Coast. It is the nations leading distributor of Chevron products, and its annual sales total over $800 million. Phoenix, Ariz.-based Canyon State is also a major supplier of lubricants and fuels, with yearly sales of over $225 million.

Perot Bissell, CEO of Global Petroleum, noted that the deals complement the operations of our first platform acquisition, Simons Petroleum Inc. Global is based in Stamford, Conn. Its parent, SPI Petroleum LLC, is owned by three private equity firms. In addition to the latest purchases, it has acquired Hartney Fuel Oil, Trevco and McLain Truck Services. Together,the companies operate 37 U.S. lubricant blending and packaging plants, and sell approximately 35 millions gallons of lubricants a year.

More PIB on the Way

Texas Petrochemicals Inc. will more than double the polyisobutene capacity at its plant in Houston, the company announced in late September. Neither cost nor size of the expansion was disclosed, but current capacity at the plant is said to be more than 65,000 metric tons per year. The project is due to come on stream in 2008. TPI said a key driver for the project is increased demand for highly reactive PIBs, which are used as dispersants in lubricants and fuel additives.

The lubricants industry uses PIBs as base stocks and as a component in metal forming fluids, gear oils, greases and two-cycle oils. Highly reactive PIBs (which have alpha-vinylidene content above 75 percent) are used as dispersants. TPI claims to be the only merchant producer of highly reactive PIB in North America; Chevron Oronite is the other principal North American producer.

Briefly Noted

The Advanced Organics business unit of OMG Group Inc. recently announced the apoinment of CNX Distribution as its sales agent in Arkansas. Also named was the M.F. Cachat Co., as sales agent for Kentucky. Headquartered in Cleveland, OMG Advanced Organics offers metal based specialty chemicals for the lubricant, grease, fuel oil, paint, ink and other industries…

Malaysian national oil company Petronas on Sept. 21 broke ground at its Melaka refinery complex for construction of its Group III lubricant base oil plant. First of its kind in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, the plant is due on stream in 2008, and will have capacity to make6,500 barrels per day,much of it promised for global markets. Petronas Vice President Datuk Anuar Ahmad officiated…

Miami oil jobber BV Oil in September purchased Grimsley Oil Co.,of Wauchula, Fla., a fellow lube distributor serving the west side of the state. Included in the sale was Grimsleys lubricants business, which carries Chevron products, a warehouse, and a bulk lube packaging plant in Arcadia, Fla. Terms of the deal were not disclosed…

Pinnacle Oil,based in Indianapolis, has signed an agreement to supply finished lubricants to Marathon Oil Corp. and its affiliates, to be sold under the Marathon, Speedway, Super America and Pilot brands. The Marathon retail system includes 5,600 service stations, convenience stores and truck stops in 17 states.

Faces in the News

John Hamilton was appointed marketing manager for Acme-Hardesty Co., the Blue Bell, Pa.-based reseller of vegetable and animal-fat based oleo-chemicals. Hamilton, who joined the company in 2004, also provides sales support to assigned accounts and maintains relationships with suppliers and industry contacts.

Douglas Hiple has been named business manager, lubricants & metalworking, at Monson Companies, the Leominster, Mass., firm that recently became exclusive distributor of Ciba Specialty Chemicals lubricant additives. He has over 20 years of lubricant experience, most recently with Hatco Corp.

Supresta has hired James McGrath in the role of distribution manager. Based at company headquarters in Ardsley, N.Y.,McGrath will be responsible for managing transportation and warehouse operations in North America, including rail and other transport, warehouse and terminal contracts, cost reduction measures, and optimizing the distribution network.

Jeffrey Crow, PhD,has joined IPAC as vice president of technology,with responsibility for developing additives for automotive, industrial and metalworking lubricants. Quality control is also under his supervision. Crow comes to the company from DSM. Also, Philip A. Markowich was named national accounts manager,with sales and technical support responsibilities in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest. Markowich most recently was with KOST USA.

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