With the upcoming changes in production capacity slated for the U.S. base oil market, players have been abuzz about who will be taking the role of conductor in terms of API Group II price initiatives in the future. Will it be Chevron, now poised to bring 25,000 barrels per day of new capacity on stream in Pascagoula, Miss.? Will it continue to be Motiva, with 40,300 b/d in Port Arthur, Texas? Will ExxonMobil take over, once it completes its Baytown, Texas, expansion in 2015?
In recent years, Motiva, being one of the major producers, has often taken the lead when it comes to initiating Group II price movements, with others quickly following in the suppliers footsteps.