Market Topics



Bharat Ups Base Oil Capacity

Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. will addan undisclosed amount of API Group II or III capacity to its base oil plant in Mumbai, India. This is the companys second Group II/III project to be announced in India in the past three months.

Chevron Lummus Global said it received a contract from BPCL for the license and design to enhance the capacity of its hydrocracker and lubricant oil base stock unit. The Mumbai plant currently has capacity to produce 3,600 barrels per day of Group II base stocks.

Brazil Continues Refinery Sell-off

Brazils state-run oil companyPetrobrasbegan the second phase of a plan to sell controlling stakes in eight oil refineries, inviting expressions of interest for four facilities. This phase includesthe sale of Lubrificantes e Derivados do Nordeste, which produces asphalt and base oils and is the countrys only source of naphthenic base stocks. It has capacity to make 1,290 barrels per day of pale oils.

The administration of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said it aims to sell 60 percent of its stakes in the refineries to raise funds to decrease the national debt.

According to Petrobras president Roberto Castello Branco, all eight refineries are expected to be sold by July 2021. With combined nameplate capacity of more than 1.13 million b/d, the refineries represent 50 percent of Brazils national refinery footprint. The government hopes to raise $20 billion through the divestment.

EPA Clarifies Stance on Chlorinated Paraffins

The Environmental Protection Agency issued significant new use rules on September 18 under the Toxic Substances Control Act that approve pre-manufacture notices for 10 chlorinated paraffin substances used in metalworking fluids.

The approved pre-
manufacture notices are for three medium-chain CPs and seven long-chain and very-long-chain CPs.

In 2017, Dover Chemical, Inovyn and Qualice signed consent orders with the EPA that approved all outstanding chlorinated paraffin pre-manufacture notices, allowing the three companies to manufacture and import a wide range of CPs, including medium, long- and very long-chain varieties.

EPA is finalizing these [significant new use rules] to ensure that other manufacturers, importers and processors of these CPs are held to the same standards as the original [pre-manufacture notice] submitters, the agency stated in its final rule published in the Federal Register.

The significant new use rules require those who intend to manufacture or process any of these chemical substances for an activity that is designated a significant new use to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity.

The final rule on significant new use includes a five-year limit for CP manufacturers and importers to submit the required test data and for EPA to review it.

Trouble Remains for Citgo

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit lifted a hold on Crystallex International Corp.s efforts to seize shares of refinerCitgo-which is the seventh-largest lubricant supplier in the U.S.-as part of a dispute with Venezuelas Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.

The Canadian gold miner filed grievances against the Venezuelan government in 2011 over lost mining rights to a Venezuelan gold mine and argued it could seize PdVSA assets as compensation for a $1.4 billion debt.

Crystallex had its motion to seize shares of PDV Holding Inc., a Delaware-based subsidiary of PdVSA, which owns Citgo, granted in August 2018. The two sides had settled on the debt toward the end of 2018, with PdVSA agreeing to make an initial $425 million payment.

Crystallex later alleged the oil company had violated the terms of the settlement and resumed its efforts to seize Citgo shares.

Lubrizol Plant Closed Following Fire

A fire broke out Sept. 26 at Lubrizol Corp.s additive plant in Rouen, France. At the time of writing, the company had not yet revealed a timetable for reopening the factory. Initial reports stated the fire originated outside the facility and impacted the drumming warehouse and an administrative building at the facility.

The Rouen facility, coupled with its Le Havre plant, is the companys primary production facility in Europe.

Industry insiders stated there had been no sign of the incident disrupting the market. If the extent of the damages was limited to the drumming plant, it should not have any major impact to either production of or the sale of additive products, said an official at a base oil supplier. However, the official, who asked to remain anonymous, said that any disruption in the plants operation could potentially impact the base oil business. Additive suppliers are significant purchasers of base oil.

Briefly Noted

North Canton, Ohio-based Timken Co. will acquire Pegnitz, Germany-based automatic lubrication system supplier Beka Lubrication for approximately $165 million. Timken says that the acquisition will make it the worlds second-largest producer of industrial automatic lubrication systems.

RelaDyneacquired Bay Shore, New York-basedCircle Lubricants, which distributes products and services to the New York metropolitan area.

Greif Inc., an American manufacturer of industrial packaging, expanded its operations in Russia with a second intermediate bulk container production plant.

Univar Solutionsnow distributesInovyns Cereclor brand chlorinated paraffins in the United States.

Melbourne, Australia-based Hilditch Pty to distribute its API Group II base oils in Australia.

Intertekopened a 135,000-square-foot laboratory in San Antonio that houses the companys Transportation Tech­nologies services, including a chemical testing team that evaluates performance properties of lubricants, other fluids and material compounds found in automotive applications.

Parkland Fuel Corp.acquired Miami, Florida-basedTropic Oil Co., which distributes lubricants and fuels across the central and south Florida region.

California Fuels and Lubricantswill distribute VP Racing Fuels products, including VP racing lubricants, throughout Southern California.

Faces in the News

After 49 years with Calumet Specialty Products Partners, John Banach, vice president, base oil sales, retired on September 1. His son, Bart Banach, was promoted to sales director, base oils.

Chemical distribution company Brenntag A.G. appointed Christian Kohlpaintner CEO and member of the companys management board, effective January 1, 2020. He succeeds Steven Holland.

Delphine Persouyre, formerly managing director of Total Luxembourg, joinedTotal Canadaas president and managing director. She succeeds Franck Bagouet, who was appointed senior vice president of lubricants at Total Specialties USA, Inc. Bagouet replaces Christophe Doussoux, who has assumed a new leadership role with the company in Paris, France.

The Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association announced new leadership at its 2019 annual meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The new president is Chuck Decker of American Oil and Supply International, replacing Barbara Kudis of Allegheny Petroleum Products Co.

Aziz Gdihi joined Flexcon North America as vice president of supply chain.


A Product News item in the October issue listed the incorrect product number for an Infineum additive package for Volkswagen Blue Oil. The correct product for SAE 0W-30 and SAE 5W-30 VW 504 00 and 507 00 formulations is Infineum P6080A.

Related Topics

Market Topics