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Base Oil Output Pinched in 2008

Department of Energy statistics for 2008 show U.S. base oil refiners produced just over 63.2 million barrels in the year. Of that, 53.5 million barrels were paraffinic base oils and 9.7 million were naphthenics.

Overall, production was down 6.5 percent from 2007s output of 67.6 million barrels. Refinery production dropped off most sharply in the second half of the year, following the closures of base oil plants operated by Citgo at Lake Charles, La., and by Marathon in Catlettsburg, Ky. Production was also affected by outages caused by Hurricane Ike, which pummeled the U.S. Gulf Coast in September.

In all, fourth-quarter base oil production barely reached 15.4 million barrels, 18 percent below that of the same period a year earlier.

Ciba Opens Shanghai Technical Center

Ciba has opened a Technical Service Center in Shanghai to serve the process and lubricant additives industry in China. The center will perform key tests for lubricant customers, said Douglas Brown, global head of lubricant additives for the Swiss specialty chemical company. In addition to servicing its traditional component and industrial lube packages, he added, the lab will support the rapid rollout planned for Cibas pour point depressants and viscosity modifier product lines in the region.

Canadians Team Up

Coastal Blending & Packaging, which markets the Irving brand of lubricants in Quebec, eastern Canada and New England, has become the exclusive distributor for Commonwealth Oil Corp.s metalworking fluids, EDM products, and Exact brand food-grade products. Commonwealth, established in 1978, is located near Windsor, Ont. Coastal, based in Saint John, N.B., is wholly owned by Irving Oil Ltd.

Clariant Allies with XL Clariants

Functional Chemicals Division and Georgia-based XL Performance Chemicals say they have joined forces to serve the $2.3 billion worldwide foam-control market. Together they will offer nearly 200 foam-control products for metalworking, mining, oil services and other industries. XL makes the proprietary products in South Carolina, and Clariant will use its sales, technical service and support network as exclusive distributor in North America.

Dorf Ketal Taps Bossco

Houston-based Dorf Ketal Chemicals has selected Bossco Industries as a top distributor for its lubricant and plastic additive products. These include Dorf Ketals PX lubricant additives for industrial and metalworking lubricant formulators, as well as Clearlink and Unilink products for the coatings market. Bossco, a member of the National Association of Chemical Distributors, is also based in Houston.

Wal-Mart Edges Jiffy Lube

With 1,999 stores, Jiffy Lube still tops the list of fast-lube chains in the United States, says National Oil & Lube News. But Wal-Mart Tire & Lube Express now has more outlets that offer quick oil change services, with 2,515 U.S. Stores.

And that, according to NOLNs 2009 Tops in the Industry report, shows how strongly Wal-Mart and other oil change plus outfits have elbowed into the space once held by quick-lubes. Oil change plus shops offer rapid oil changes as an adjunct, not as their primary business. In addition to Wal-Mart, these include Goodyear, Firestone, Midas and Sears. Other examples are new-car dealers, auto parts stores and mass merchandisers.

Among the traditional quick-lube chains, the leaders after Jiffy Lube include Pennzoil 10-Minute Oil Change, Valvoline Instant Oil Change, and Texaco Xpress Lube. Rounding out the top five is Kwik Kar. In all, NOLNs annual report ranked 53 fast-lube chains operating over 7,000 U.S. facilities as of Feb. 28.

NOLNs Tops in the Industry Ranking was published in its March issue. The full report, which includes data on overall dollar-figure sales for the fast-lube industry, do-it-yourself market share, a look at overseas stores and other key industry metrics, is available to nonsubscribers for $30. To order, e-mail misty.dolan@noln.net.

ELM Spins off Metalworking Fluids

Environmental Lubricants Manufacturing (ELM) has spun off its metalworking fluids technology to Performance BioLubes, a new company headed by Gene Tripp, who led the metalworking fluid efforts for the past eight years. Lou Honary, founder and chairman, said the Iowa-based ELM will focus now on biobased railroad and truck greases, food-grade lubes, hydraulic fluids and gear oils. ELM will continue to blend metalworking fluids for the startup company, he added.

Donut for Biobased Oil Stamford, Conn-based

Green Earth Technologies has met the testing and certification requirements of APIs SM engine oil category, and its biodegradable G-Oil brand 5W-30 engine oil can display the American Petroleum Institutes donut service symbol on its labels. This makes G-Oil the first biobased motor oil to receive an API license. The oil will be available in quart bottles in June, the company said, and bulk shipments may be available even sooner. It is working to license biodegradable 10W-30 and 5W-20 multi-grades by this summer.

FTC Eases Oxidates Deal

To undo a monopoly in the U.S. market for oxidates used to make rust preventives, Lubrizol last month agreed to allow Lockhart Chemical to transfer certain assets to Additives International.

Lubrizol acquired all of Lockharts metalworking product lines in 2007, including its oxidates. It then barred Lockhart from leasing its Flint, Mich., plant to any other oxidate manufacturer, saying it would violate their noncompete agreement. However, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said that Lubrizol and Lockhart together accounted for over 98 percent of U.S. oxidates sales, and so their deal had lessened competition for the products.

To resolve the issue, Lubrizol signed a consent agreement allowing Lockhart to lease the plant to Additives International, which will make rust preventives based on oxidized waxes and petrolatums there. Evanston, Ill.-based Additives International also gained a nonexclusive license to manufacture formulas acquired from Lockhart, plus the right to use Lockhart trademarks for two years.

Summit First with 21469

Tyler, Texas-based Summit Industrial Products, part of Germanys Kluber Lubrication, is the first company in North America to receive certification to ISO 21469, the international standard for Safety of Machinery, Lubricants with Incidental Product Contact, Hygiene Requirements. The certification, obtained from NSF International, applies to lubricants intended for use in the food production, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and animal feed industries.

Faces in the News

John Cutcher recently became technical director at Benz Oil, bringing extensive experience in technology, health and safety, lab management and marketing to the Milwaukee-based lube blender. He has been in the industry since 1982, working for Castrol Industrial, DA Stuart and Diamond Biodiesel.

Alex Medrano joins The Whitmore Manufacturing Co. in Rockwell, Texas, where as technical director hell be responsible for all lab operations, product R&D, environmental compliance and formulations. Coming from Castrol Industrial (formerly Tribol), Medrano brings over 27 years of lubricants experience.

Crodas Lubricants and Oilfield business is expanding its U.S. sales team, hiring Tim Langlois as Midwest account manager, responsible for sales to lubricant accounts in that region. His background in metalworking fluids includes positions with Mayco, Gateway, Polartech and most recently Custom Synthesis. Also, Ray Johannessen was named sales manager for the U.S. lubricants and oilfield sales team, and is directly responsible for Southwestern accounts. He has seven years of experience with Croda and 20 years with Ethyl.

Croda also promoted Peter Bracke, of its sales administration team, to be Northeast sales representative, and Scott Davis to the role of sales development manager. Davis has 16 years of lubricants industry experience, including six with Croda and 10 with ExxonMobil.

Bryan Kitchen has been appointed global supply chain leader for Dow Biocides and Angus Chemical, based in Midland, Mich. A Six Sigma Black Belt, he has been with Dow since 2000, working in supply chain, planning and leadership roles at both local and global levels.

Cary Palulis was promoted to vice president, lubricants, for Chemlube International Inc. Palulis has direct responsibility for the companys blend plant in Savannah, Ga., which began operations in 2002.

Mike Hill recently joined Nynas USA as supply chain planner for the Americas. Based in Houston, he plans and coordinates operations of its North American refineries and depots.

Pilot Chemical Co., in Cincinnati, named David Ligon to its board of directors. He is a founder and managing partner of Brightwell Capital Partners, an asset management and advisory firm specializing in privately held, middle-market businesses.

Sanjib Kumar has joined the Singapore office of SSY Chemicals, the chemical tanker chartering company that is part of Simpson Spence & Young, the worlds largest independent ship brokering group.

For the Record

Plastic processing and industrial fluid manufacturer Milacron, suffering under the global economic downturn, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States and Canada. To assist the restructuring, two current investors (Avenue Capital Group and DDJ Capital Management) will boost the company with $40 in new funds and later purchase all of its assets…

Dow Chemical last month moved to complete its acquisition of Rohm and Haas, in an $18.8 billion transaction. Both companys biocides will become part of a new advanced materials business unit at Rohm and Haass current headquarters in Philadelphia. No word yet on plans for their other lubricant-related holdings…

Seeking a larger market share in Russia, Evonik RohMax Additives bought the oil additives business of DOS, a Russian methacrylate producer. The deal included customer lists, intellectual property and polymerization kettles. OOO Prisadki, a newly formed company, will toll-produce the additives under the Depramax trademark. RohMax also sells Viscoplex additives in Russia.

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