For years, common wisdom has said that relentless construction of low-cost hydrocrackers will create a massive oversupply of paraffinic base oil, and inevitably knock old-fashioned API Group I refiners out of contention. Theyll close down, and leave a clear field for Group II and Group III base oils to enjoy.
Some experts now are questioning that assumption. Far from padlocking their gates, they note, many Group I solvent refineries have found ways to keep the lights on and return profits to their owners. And quite a few appear to be chugging along just fine.