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Calumet Buys Again

Calumet Specialty Products Partners has acquired United Petroleum Co., the wholesaler of Quantum brand motor oils, coolants and greases, for undisclosed terms. Founded in 2011, Arizona-based United sells lubricants into the automotive and industrial markets through a network of distributors in 35 U.S. states. The Quantum brand is one of the fastest growing lubricants brands in the industry, said Jennifer Straumins, Calumets president and chief operating officer.

Indianapolis-based Calumet refines base oil in Shreveport and Princeton, La., and makes esters in St. Louis, Mo. The deal expands its finished lubricants family, which includes Royal Purple, Trusouth and Bel-Ray among others. United Petroleum President Shane Terry, who became vice president of sales for Calumet, said all operational and sales personnel with United Petroleum are joining the Calumet organization.

Michigan Arrests Phony Oil Peddlers

Investigators from Michigans attorney general criminal division arrested four City Petroleum and Star Petroleum officials on felony charges, for allegedly selling intentionally mislabeled motor oil to retailers. Arrested Feb. 24 were City Petroleums co-owners, brothers Moussa Kaddouh and Joe Kdouh, and Moussa Kaddouhs son Ali Kaddouh; and also the owner of Star Petroleum, Ayman Faraj. All four were responsible for peddling phony petroleum products, according to a Feb. 26 press release from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. The felony charges include intentionally underfilling containers, and using used oil rather than new motor oil despite the product labels implications. The actions are punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. According to Schuettes office, all defendants were released on bond, with court dates set for March and April.

While both companies sell wholesale motor oil and transmission fluids (City Petroleum under the brand City Star, and Star Petroleum under the name Star) they are not affiliated. Both have been under Michigans microscope before. In September, the states Dept. of Weights and Measures ordered each to discontinue sale of all motor oil and transmission fluid in the state. Also, in 2011, City Petroleum was ordered by North Carolina to remove its products from the shelves. The Petroleum Quality Institute of America released multiple warnings to consumers about both brands after testing samples of the oils.

New Owners at Cam2

Jack Baker and a group of investors, including Walter Tyson from Martin/Cross Lubricants, have acquired Cam2 International in an asset purchase from Omega Holdings Co. for an undisclosed amount. The deal included all Cam2 brands, its marketing organization and a blending plant in Hammond, Ind. The company will also continue to manufacture in Bakersfield, Calif. Baker became CEO, Tyson has taken the role of president, and Cam2s existing senior management team remains in place. Tyson spent 22 years at Martin/Cross Lubricants in Smackover, Ark., rising there to senior vice president.

SK Bullish on Group III

SK Lubricants and Pertamina will expand their joint-venture API Group III base oil plant in Dumai, Indonesia, by 50 percent next year, upping its capacity from 490,000 tons per year now (10,000 daily barrels) to 740,000 t/y in 2015. An SK official announced the project at a recent industry conference, and also bucked conventional wisdom by predicting Group III shortages.

Paul Kerwin, sales manager for SK Lubricants Europe, told the ICIS World Base Oils & Lubricants Conference in London on Feb. 20 that the world will see a Group III base oil shortage by 2017 – particularly of base oils having automaker approvals. This view is at odds with the forecasts from such industry experts as Kline & Co. and SBA Consulting, which both predict a massive oversupply of high quality, light-vis base oils over the next five years.

SK expects Group III demand to exceed 6 million tons per year by 2018, Kerwin said, but supply will fall short of 5.6 million tons. And while 90 percent of the Group III demand will be for the 4 and 6 cSt base oils, those grades are just 60 percent of the capacity; hence the impetus to expand in Dumai.

Dennison Set to Build

Dennison Lubricants will enlarge its Worchester, Mass., facility by roughly a quarter, in a $4.2 million project targeted for completion by years end. Lakeville, Mass.-based Dennison makes and distributes about 8 million gallons of automotive and industrial lubes annually, in Lakeville and Worchester Mass., and Gardiner, Maine. The Worchester project will boost that facilitys overall size to between 70,000 and 75,000 square feet, according to Tim Dennison, founder and president of the family-owned company. By the end of 2014, Dennison expects at least 20 new jobs to open up at the facility.

NLGI Teaches Grease

Lubricating grease is uniquely high-value and high-tech, yet remains a mystery to many who must make, market or apply it. Gain insight by attending one of NLGIs tightly focused Grease Education Courses, June 16 and 17. Held along NLGIs annual meeting in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., the concurrent offerings include Lubricating Grease: Application and Maintenance (ideal for those who need to select, trouble-shoot and maintain these products); the fundamental Basic Grease course; and Advanced Grease for those who are ready to push more deeply into the critical chemistries, tests and applications. Fees are discounted until May 15, and cover manuals, course materials, three meals and entry to all NLGI annual meeting events. Web:

Hyundai, Shell Get Cozy

Hyundai Motor America is partnering with Shell Oil to recommend Quaker State brand motor oils throughout its car dealer network. Participating Hyundai dealers will provide Quaker State branded motor oils for the vehicles they service. Hyundai already uses Quaker State as the factory-fill oils for its vehicles, Shell pointed out, and its U.s. cars and SUVs now will have Quaker State stickers in the engine compartment and references in the owners manuals.

OilSafe in Whitmores Hands

Whitmore Manufacturing, the Rockwall, Texas-based lube company, has acquired Fluid Defense Systems, a maker of lubricant storage and handling solutions. Fluid Defense is known for its popular lubricant handling systems, like color-coded OilSafe containers that help identify fluids, assure cleanliness and avoid cross-contamination. Whitmores Scott Dunbar said the Fluid Defense line complements Whitmores own Air Sentry reliability products, adding, We now offer a more compelling product line that provides us with a great platform to build on organically and through future acquisitions. Terms were not disclosed.

Meet in Rio

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will host the fourth Meet the Market South America conference on May 28 and 29, organized by Lubes em Foco and ICIS and drawing more than 300 participants. Attendees will hear from oil and additive companies, OEMs and government regulators, and learn about the regions base oils and lubricants; specifications and upgrades affecting the regions automotive lubricants; quality mandates; the potential for rerefining; specialties such as PIB, PAG and biobased lubes; and others. Plus panel discussions, networking opportunities and more. Web: www.icisconference.


Faces in the News

ZXP Technologies, which blends and packages lubricants and chemicals, has named Stephen Davis as president. The Univ. of Houston graduate has been executive vice president of operations at the Highlands, Texas, company since January 2007.

Chevrons Pascagoula, Miss., refinerys new general manager is Bruce Chinn, taking over from Tom Kovar who retires April 1. Chinn holds a chemical engineering degree from Texas A&M and joined Chevron in 2006. He earlier was operations manager at its refinery in Richmond, Calif., and was most recently with Chevron Global Technology Services.

Benjamin Leonard joined the R&D team at Engineered Custom Lubricants in Aurora, Ill. With a Ph.D. in tribology from Purdue Univ., he will

be applying advanced engineering concepts to problems in lubrication and in product development.

Spectro Inc. added Mark Spillane as vice president of operations and Bob Wopperer as vice president of business development. Spillane, previously with Ambient Corp., is responsible for all purchasing, supply chain and manufacturing areas. Wopperer joins Spectro from Thermo Fisher and will head its marketing, product

management and business

development. z

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