US naphthenic base oil prices steady on good demand

24 January 2014 20:47 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US naphthenic base oil prices are steady on good January demand, despite this week’s reductions in the paraffinic base oil sector.

Naphthenic oils, also called pale oils, are experiencing healthy demand in a number of end-use sectors.

Automotive tyres and electrical transformer oils are two end-use areas that are offering support to ongoing firmness in pale oil prices.

Tyre applications utilise a heavy grade pale oil, while electrical applications typically use light grades.

In those tiers, Pale 2000 heavy grade base oil prices were most recently assessed by ICIS at $3.50-3.92/gal FOB (free on board) USG (US Gulf), while Pale 60 light grade was assessed at $3.65-3.88/gal FOB USG.

Upcoming planned turnarounds are encouraging producers to monitor inventories and build up naphthenic base oil supply to sustain obligations during the downtime periods.

West coast producer San Joaquin Refinery (SJR) has a two-week maintenance turnaround planned for late February, while naphthenic producer Calumet is planning two weeks of maintenance downtime in mid-March at its Princeton, Louisiana, facility.

SJR produces 8,100 bbl/day of naphthenic oils at its Bakersfield, California, facility. Calumet’s Princeton location produces 6,900 bbl/day of naphthenics.

Cross Oil has a 30-day turnaround planned for the first quarter at its 5,000 bbl/day Smackover, Arkansas, base oil plant, but the company has not decided upon dates.

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By Judith Taylor