Markets all over the world are rather dreary. Asias excuse is the mid-autumn festival in China and other local holidays, but Europe and the United States have no such pretext.-by Adrian Brown
U.S. base oil refiners worked in high gear during the first half of 2018, producing nearly 34 million barrels of base stocks - the highest total in at least a quarter century, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Observers said that output is helping to saturate the market.
A HollyFrontier subsidiary will acquire Sonneborn from private equity firm One Equity Partners for $655 million cash under an agreement announced yesterday. HollyFrontier officials said the addition of Sonneborns specialty products is another step in diversifying its product mix with a shift toward finished products.
ExxonMobil, the worlds largest base oil supplier, has made capital investments at several plants the past few years. Apparently it plans more of the same in coming years.
During the first half of 2019, the United States base oil production purred like a contented kitten as Asian countries production roared like a hungry tiger.
Chevron announced it has agreed for its Richmond, California, base oil plant to begin making API Group III oils that Finnish refiner Neste Corp. will market under its Nexbase brand name.
The Federal Trade Commission rejected recycled oil rule changes suggested by rerefiner Avista Oil - to specify that base oil produced through rerefining is of equal or better quality than virgin base oil - and by the American Petroleum Institute, which sought more precise definitions for recycled oil and related manufacturing and marketing terms.
Base oil trade through the U.S. border city of Brownsville, Texas, is booming, thanks to growing demand in Mexico and a lack of supply base in that country. Lube Report visited a terminal for an up close view.
Lubricant demand in Brazil jumped to 399,000 metric tons for the first four months of this year, a 5 percent increase compared to the same period of 2018. The results buoyed expectations for the market, which swelled slightly in 2018 after four years of big declines.
Industry observers say a new linear alpha olefins unit that ExxonMobil expects to open in 2022 in Baytown, Texas, should reduce its reliance on competitors for LAO as a feedstock for making polyalphaolefins, though the company will likely remain an active buyer of LAO from merchant sellers.