What a difference a year makes. If 2018 was a banner year for United States base oil production, then 2019 was the opposite, witnessing a year-to-year plunge of 9 percent despite a lack of major disruptors in the industry.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, base oil refineries in the United States produced just shy of 61 million barrels in 2019, down from more than 67.3 million in 2018—a 20-year high. Production was down in the first half of the year, and while the second half kept more apace with 2018 rates, it didn’t make up for the slow start. (See the October 2019 issue for details on the first half of the year.)