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Citgo Hangs For Sale on Lubes, Base Oil Units

Citgo Petroleum wants to sell both its finished lubricants and its base oil businesses – preferably together, according to the companys financial advisor Goldman, Sachs & Co. The company intends to sell its three lube blending plants and terminals located in Cicero, Ill., Oklahoma City, and Atlanta. Citgo said it would also look into selling its Lake Charles, La., lubricants and waxes refinery, which has 9,500 barrels per day of API Group I base oil capacity and about 2,000 b/d of wax capacity. The company said it expects the sales process to be a two-phase auction in which potential suitors can first review the finished lubricants and base oils/waxes businesses, and then selected parties can attend an informational management presentation.

Naps Slipped in 1st Half

U.S. refiners produced 32.7 million barrels of base oil in the first half of this year, just ahead of the 32.5 million barrels produced in the first six months of 2007. According to the Energy Information Agency, output of paraffinic base oils in the first half reached 28.2 million barrels, a 3 percent gain from first-half 2007. However, naphthenic base oil production faltered, due to equipment outages, scheduled turnarounds and various interruptions. The agency said pale oil production fell nearly 12 percent, to just 4.5 million barrels from January to June 2008, against 5.1 million barrels in the same period last year.

Paccars Pick: Synthetic Axle Lube

Anew, fully synthetic axle lubricant is now standard on Peterbilt and Kenworth Class 5 to 8 model trucks in the United States and Canada. Paccar, parent company for both truck manufacturers, says that the synthetic oil will give customers an estimated 1 percent fuel economy savings – roughly $900 in annual fuel costs per vehicle. In comparision to conventional gear lubes, Peterbilt and Kenworth claim, the Cognis Emgard FE 75W-90 oil increases gear life, extends drain intervals and reduces maintenance and downtime. Peterbilt will introduce the synthetic oil into production at its plants in Texas, Tennessee and Quebec, Canada; Kenworth will fill the product at plants in Ohio, Washington and Quebec.

Iran Plans Group II Plant

Two Iranian companies, Fouman Chimie and Sepahan Oil, are planning to jointly build an API Group II base oil plant in Bandar Abbas, Iran. The plant, to open in late 2011, will be able to produce 270,000 metric tons of base oil a year. The joint venture company Caspian Oil – a former Fouman Chimie subsidiary in which Sepahan bought a 40 percent stake in March – is building the plant because base oils from existing Iranian plants do not meet the quality requirements of the automotive engine oil market. Because economic sanctions prohibit American companies from doing business in Iran, the partners could not access catalytic refining technologies from companies such as Chevron Lummus Global and ExxonMobil. Instead, French technology provider Axens will supply hydrorefining technology to the plant.

Houston Hosts NPRA

Its fall, so its time to head to Houston for the NPRA International Lubricants and Waxes Meeting, November 13 and 14 at the Marriott Westchase Hotel. Topics that will be covered at this years meeting are base oil issues, blending of Group III base stocks, wax trends and the international wax market, transportation concerns, and future developments. Among those scheduled to make presentations are Chevron, Petronas, Ergon, Odfjell and Solomon Associates. The NPRA Government Relations Department will also make a presentation on how the early-November presidential election will affect the oil and gas industry. Through Oct. 10, early member registration is $350 (early non-member fees are $695). To register, visit

Makeover for Mill Hall

Croda International is expanding capacity and upgrading equipment at its specialty esters manufacturing facility in Mill Hall, Pa. While the facility is still operational, it is making ongoing improvements to existing process equipment (and installing new ones) that manufacture dibasic and polyol esters. The East Yorkshire, U.K.-based company said the changes are a result of increasing North American demand for synthetic lubricant esters, prompted by a desire for improved fuel economy in automotive uses and increased productivity in industrial markets. Chris Donaghy, Crodas lubricants and oilfield chemicals sales director, said, Longer drain intervals require synthetic esters for performance, so an investment in supporting these areas at our manufacturing facilities worldwide is a natural course of action.

Great Western Acquires Nemco

Canadas GWC Services Ltd., parent company of Great Western Containers Inc., has assumed ownership of Nemco Resources, a family-owned motor oil, lubricant and coolant manufacturer and distributor. Under the deal, GWC acquired all shares of Nemco operations in Manitoba and Saskatchewan provinces. Nemco will continue to operate under its trade name as a subsidiary of GWC Services Ltd. Nemco president George Nemeth said Nemco will continue operating as it has, with all employees retaining their jobs. Great Western Containers probably will be setting up warehouse space in places like Edmonton, Calgary, Lloydminster and possibly Vancouver, he said, so that would give them an automatic increase in product throughput.

Maagtechnic Markets Shell Lubes

Shell lubricants are now being sold and marketed in Switzerland and Liechtenstein by distributor

Maagtechnic, a division of Datwyler Schweiz AG in Altdorf, Switzerland. The sales contract, which went into effect Aug. 18, also includes customer and service center and technical support. Maagtechnic said that it is strengthening its activities in the maintenance, repair and operation (MRO) arena with the contract. According to Shell Lubricants Switzerland AG, the business transfer to Maagtechnic does not include lubricants blending at its Bern, Switzerland, location, and lubricants sold through petrol stations, which Shell still manages and operates

NLGI Seeks Papers

Authors are invited to submit papers on the topic of lubricating grease to the 2009 NLGI Annual Meeting, in Tucson, Ariz., June 13 to 16. Technical, manufacturing and marketing papers on lubricating grease are sought for the prestigious event, as well as papers on additive chemistries, grease testing, environmental and regulator issues, applications and industry trends.

With 300 member companies worldwide, NLGIs annual meeting provides a major forum for researchers, manufacturers and suppliers to address this industry, points out Rob Kress of Lubricating Specialties Co., who chairs the NLGI Technical Sessions. Prospective authors should provide their names, contact details and paper subjects by Dec. 10; abstracts are due Jan. 30. For details, e-mail Kress at or NLGI at

Lubrication Services Acquires Distributor

Lubrication Services LLC (LSi), of Oklahoma City has acquired Wyomingbased Quality Petroleum, a distributor of Chevron and Shell lubricants. The purchase includes Quality Petroleums offices, warehouse, trucks, equipment and bulk storage facilities in Casper and Gillette, Wyo. Bill Rutherford, LSis vice president, said that although Quality Petroleum is a smaller company, the two have similar operations and customer lists, with both specializing in serving the oil and gas drilling industry, such as natural gas engine oils, along with commercial and other industrial lubes. The purchase gives LSi a bigger footprint in the state and especially in the markets of Gillette and Casper, where there is a lot of oil drilling activity, he said.

Briefly Noted

Taneco, a unit of Russias Tatneft, has named Chevron Lummus Globalas lube base oil technology developer for the allhydroprocessing cheme at its refinery in Nizhnekamsk, Tatarstan, currently under onstruction. The refinery will add a production train for making API Group II/III lubricant base oils, and feature heavy-oil upgrading processes…

Joint venture partners Bahrain Petroleum Co., Nogaholding and Neste Oil on Aug. 20 awarded a $314 million contract to Seoul, South Korea-based Samsung Engineering for engineering, procurement and construction on a 400,000 metric tons per year API Group III base oil plant in Bahrain, due by April 2011…

Troy Corp.s manufacturing facility in Newark, N.J., has been awarded the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Stewardship Award. The award, which recognizes businesses and corporations that are committed to protecting the environment, was presented last month to Edward Capasso, Troys corporate director of environmental/regulatory affairs…

Honda of America tagged Houghton International with a Supplier of the Year award for its excellent maintenance, repair and operational services at Hondas Marysville, Ohio, auto plant. We thank MRO suppliers like Houghton for helping Honda exceed goals in the areas of cost reduction and improving efficiencies, said Hondas Mike Wallace.

Delta to Package for Cognis

Industrial packager Delta Companies Group, a subsidiary of Greif Inc., will now provide on-site packaging services to Cognis Corp. in Cincinnati. The packaging facility, which is under construction and will be operational in January, will package Cognis products into quart and gallon packages, pails, kegs, drums and totes. This will be a model site easily capable of handling the breadth of products produced by Cognis and the multiple sizes of packages they require, said Dano Lister, Deltas vice president of operations.

Faces in the News

Gisela Miller has been promoted to president and CFO at D-A Lubricant Co. As president, she supervises the sales force and oversees inside operations. Miller joined the Indianapolis company in 1984, and held various positions in distribution, sales, finance and management.

Chairman Werner Muller of Germanys Evonik Industries AG has decided to step down on Dec. 31, after five years in the post. Executive board member Klaus Engel has been named as successor, effective Jan. 1. Engel also chairs the board of Evonik Degussa,

International Petroleum Products and Additives Co. (IPAC) has hired Daniel Stage as national account manager. Based in Houston, Stage will serve customers from Texas to Florida and north to the Carolinas. He has 15 years of chemical, lubricant and additive industry experience.

Jeremy Day has joined Acme-Hardesty as southeastern region sales manager. Based in Blue Bell, Pa., he will be responsible for expanding sales in South Carolina, eastern Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

Shell Lubricants as new general managers for its U.S. operations. Lisa Davis has been named as general manager, business to business. She has more than 20 years of experience, and most recently was with Shells fuels marketing businesses in Europe. The companys Stuart Crum became general manager U.S. national accounts, where he will manage strategic and operational sales activities. He takes over from Steve Reindl, who was named general manager for the installed channel.

UniSource Energy Inc., the West Chicago, Ill., marketer of base oils and solvents, has named Michael Smith as general manager. Smith now runs the daily activities of the organization, focusing on business development and marketing.

Matthew Butterfield has joined Croda Lubricants as technical manager in the industrial lubricants sector, based in Cleveland, U.K. He was previously employed at Nihon Parker, where he worked for three years in the European metal-forming department.

Dwayne Roark has been appointed business communications manager for Dow Biocides and Angus Chemical Co., in Buffalo Grove, Ill. Prior to joining Dow, Roark was senior marketing manager for Misumi USA Inc. in Schaumburg, Ill.

The U.S. division of Dorf Ketal Chemicals has named Mac Woods as operations and supply chain manager. In her new position, she will oversee all of the North American logistics for toll manufacturers and packagers, and raw material negotiation and purchasing.

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