Tag Archives: Oil

API Advises Oil Pros to Prepare for Hurricane Season

The American Petroleum Institute (API), along with other oil and natural gas industry organizations, are advising oil and gas industry professionals prepare for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season.

Hurricane season, which will officially begin on June 1, can severely impact the oil and natural gas industry.  The gulf coast region often finds itself in the path of major storms like hurricane Harvey, which hit Houston in 2017, causing $125 billion in damages and killing 68.  The region, which includes Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas, is also a hotbed for oil and natural gas, accounting for more than 50 percent of the U.S.’s refining capacity, according to the API.

“To prepare and respond to weather events, API works with federal, state, and local first responders and government officials to help promote safety and restore normal operations following a storm,” Suzanne Lemieux, API Midstream and Industry Operations Manager, said.  “Our industry has developed innovations, technology and knowledge from past big-weather events that has better prepared the industry to withstand future storms.”

The API partnered with organizations like the Petroleum Marketer’s Association of America, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and American Gas Association, as well as local and federal authorities to raise awareness and provide hurricane readiness materials.

Mobil Releases Inaugural Global Base Oil Industry Report

ExxonMobil released its inaugural global base oil industry report, which features input from key industry influences and top decision makers.

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The ExxonMobil Base Stocks 2018 Industry Pulse Report was created in conjunction with KRC Research.  Among the reports key findings were that almost 75 percent of industry respondents  consider Group II base oils the “heart of the market,” especially among those in the automotive, marine, industrial and commercial vehicle industries.  Almost 33 percent said they still consider Group I base oil an important commodity despite demand for it decreasing rapidly.

Those polled also expressed their confidence in American Petroleum Institute (API) standards, with a majority agreeing they were “sufficient for formulating and manufacturing engine oil.”  About 61 percent said current standards were fine, with another 12 percent saying they would be in favor of gradual changes.  Respondents also expressed confidence that the industry would be able to keep up with tightening regulations.


Battery Industry Projected to Drive Lithium Growth

Global demand for lithium is projected to rise 8.9 percent per year through 2019, according to a research study.

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The Freedonia Group study projects demand for the metal will reach more than 49 thousand metric tons by the end of next year.  The prediction is the result of expansions in the lithium-ion battery industry driven by increased demand for electric vehicles, energy storage systems and portable electronics.

The value of the global lithium market could rise to $1.7.  Some experts believe these estimates may be too conservative, as the market for the mineral continues to out-pace expectations and demand remains significantly higher than supply.

Re-Refined Oil a Cleaner, Greener Alternative

Oil before and after re-refiningEnvironmental protection and sustainability have become important parts of any business.  Changing attitudes and intensifying regulations have pushed “going green” from a consideration to a necessity.  This trend has led to more and more people turning to re-refined oil.

By hydrotreating used oil, worn out additives and contaminants are separated from base oil, allowing it to be used again.  The base oil, usually 80 to 85 percent of the mixture, can then be used again and new additive packages can be included.  The spent additives can be used or sold, as they have applications in construction, paving, roofing and other industries.

Businesses of all sizes face growing social and government pressure to reduce their carbon footprint and adopt sustainable technology.  Using re-refined oil could be a step in that direction, especially for large scale enterprises that cycle through a lot of lubricant.

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“Big corporations, their carbon footprint is being tracked very closely.  Using re-refined products is a great way to stay on top of that,” Mike Wyant, Director of Technical Services for PetroChoice, said.  “It’s how you perceive that oil and what value you place upon it.  It’s sustainable, it’s a better carbon footprint, there are less emissions, there are all these good things about the oil.”

In the past, industry insiders have thought of re-refined oil as an inferior product.  That perception is beginning to change as new technology and more advanced hydrotreating techniques allow for better quality.  Wyant said re-refined oils, provided they are treated correctly, can even outperform more traditional products.

“Some folks think it is inferior.  That is a myth,” Wyant said.  “The API (American Petroleum Institute) actually encourages re-refined oil.  When they designate qualities of oil, the terms re-refined and ‘virgin’ are not even involved.  Sulfur saturates and viscosity index are the building blocks of quality oil.  As long as it is hydrotreated correctly, re-refined oil is going to perform as good, if not better, than a ‘virgin’ crude-based oil.”

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Wyant said he is beginning to see re-refined oil become more prevalent as its benefits become more apparent.  Re-refined oils can cause as much as 81 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions.  The re-refining process also uses 85 percent less energy than refining from new crude oil.

“We have seen it take off.  I think it is how you get it out into the world and relay the story behind it.  It does make a difference, we know that it makes a difference.  It takes less energy to refine, it has less emissions, it requires less crude.  We know there is a benefit.”

Political Tension Could Impact Oil

As regional strife and political tension continue to grow in Iran, some in the oil industry speculate the price of crude oil could reach $100 per barrel by 2019.

Several investment banks and other companies have called for prices to climb to anywhere from $80 to $90 per barrel by next year.  Some, like Hong Kong-based Seismik Technology Co., have said they believe the price could go higher.  Prices have already gained nearly ten percent this past month and almost 20 percent since January.

Much of the speculation centers around the current political climate in Iran, the fourth largest member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).  The Middle Eastern nation has added one million extra barrels of crude oil per day and could face sanctions.