Imperial Oil's Canada base oil closure could be expedited - sources

22 September 2010 20:34  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Imperial Oil may stop making base oils at its Sarnia refinery in Ontario, Canada, sooner that some market players expect, bringing additional buyers into the US market and keeping supply snug through the end of the year, sources said on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, Imperial Oil said it would stop base oil and wax production at the refinery in 2011 to focus on fuels. At the time of the announcement, Imperial said the transition was expected to occur by mid-2011.

The plant has 2,800 bbl/day of API Group I and 3,800 bbl/day of Group II base oil capacity.

In recent days, however, some buyers said they expected Imperial to stop shipping base oils as early as November 2010.

Imperial Oil did not comment on the November timeline, saying it had not released any new announcements on it.

However, Imperial Oil spokesman John Harding added: “At the time of the announcement, we did say we expected to stop base oil production in mid-2011, with the potential for phased advancement if economic and practical, and that remains the case.”

($1 = €0.75)

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