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Canada Permits Use of Toxic Chemical

The Canadian government announced that it will permit 9-octadecenoic acid (Z)- compound with (Z)-N-9-octadecenyl-1,3-propanediamine to be used as an ingredient in engine oils and transmission fluids even though the substance is potentially toxic.

The government designated the chemical for ministerial conditions, a decision announced Feb. 1 and backdated to Jan. 22. The decree states that 9-octadecenoic acid (Z)- compound with (Z)-N-9-octadecenyl-1,3-propanediamine is a new chemical that regulators believe is toxic or capable of becoming toxic.

However, the designation permits the chemical to be manufactured or imported for use in automotive engine oils and transmission fluids. It also requires companies handling the chemical or products that contain it to maintain records documenting its use and volumes.

The chemical is an oleic acid, a family of chemicals that includes esters used in lubricants.

Petrobras Considers Group II Production

Brazilian state-run oil companyPetrobrasis seeking to add API Group II base oil production in the country through new installations at its Comperj petrochemical complex in Itaborai.

The company is considering constructing a catalytic hydrocracking unit at Comperj with new tanks and auxiliary units. The addition would enable it to produce nearly 1,170 metric tons per day of Group II base oils, said Anelise Lara, Petrobras director of refining and natural gas. Feedstock would come from the companys Duque de Caxias refinery, known as Reduc, which has a Group I plant with production capacity of about 11,200 barrels per day.

The only domestic source of API Group II base oils in Brazil is Lwarts rerefinery in Lencois Paulista, which can produce 78,000 t/y.

Brazils demand for finished lubes was 1.35 million cubic meters in 2018, said Thiago Ferreira Veiga of Lubrax, Petrobras finished lubricants brand. The move would help meet increased demand for higher quality lubricants in Brazil, stemming from regulations and engine evolution.

The company is still analyzing the situation, and nothing concrete has been decided. Before moving forward on the project, Petrobras is prioritizing selling off eight of its refineries.

Amalie Awaits Settlement Approval

Amalie Oil Co.and the plaintiffs of a class action lawsuit against the company have asked a Florida circuit court to grant final approval on a settlement, which the two sides agreed upon last October.

The lawsuit alleges that Amalies Xcel Premium motor oil brand is obsolete byAmerican Petroleum Institutestandards, as it is a non-detergent motor oil. Plaintiffs say the label is misleading and that the oil is ineffective when used in any vehicle made after 1930. Amalie denies the claims.

As part of the settlement, Amalie has agreed to change the front and back labels on the oil and pay administrative costs related to the settlement as well as $2 million in attorneys fees to the plaintiffs counsel.

Members of the lawsuit-those who purchased the motor oil brand between Dec. 1, 2014, and Oct. 11, 2019-can receive up to a $20 refund from Amalie with proof of purchase or up to a $6 refund without proof.

The lawsuit was filed in June 2018 and refiled in December 2018.

Calumet Plans Lubes Business Growth

Calumet Specialty Products Partnersis undertaking several initiatives to boost its lubricating oils and finished lubricants business as part of an overall strategy to increase profitability.

What the company calls its Self-Help program was launched in 2016 with the goal of improving earnings. Calumet said Phase I of the program accomplished a $182 million increase in its adjusted earnings from 2016 to 2018.

Phase II of the program, which began in early 2019, focuses on growth in its specialty products segment. The company expects this phase to deliver a $100 million increase in its adjusted earnings from 2019 through 2021, and said that 2019 contributed $30 million toward that goal.

The efforts include a debottlenecking project at its Princeton, Louisiana, base oil refinery to be completed in the first quarter of this year and a similar project at its Shreveport, Louisiana, base oil refinery, which was completed in late 2019. The Princeton facility has capacity to make 6,900 barrels per day of naphthenic base stocks, while the Shreveport facility has capacity to make 11,900 b/d, most of which is API Group II.

The company said that in addition to driving growth of its specialty products, it also plans to improve its transportation, logistics and procurement costs.

Briefly Noted

Under a new agreement, participating International Truckdealers across Canada gained access toPetro-Canada Lubricants products.

PetroChoiceacquired Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based lubricants distributor Commercial Distributing Inc.

Parkland Fuel Corp. acquired Salt Lake City, Utah-based Kellerstrass Oil Co., which distributes fuels and lubricants.

Faces in the News

Chevron Oronite announced that Barbara Smith, vice president of products and technology, will retire on April 1. Koon Eng Goh will take over her position. The company also appointed Walt Szopiak as its vice president of manufacturing and supply, replacing Curt Anderson, who was named vice president of manufacturing for Chevron Products Co.

Calumet Specialty Products Partners L.P.promoted Scott Obermeier to executive vice president, commercial. He will lead the companys base oils, solvents and specialty oils and waxes businesses.

Brian Bundy joined Sea-land Chemical as business development manager for the U.S. West Coast. He previously worked for Silver Fern Chemical and Neuchem in the Pacific Northwest.

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