ExxonMobil to shut down base oil production at Beaumont refinery

ExxonMobil Corp., which recently announced that it is boosting its Beaumont, Texas crude oil processing capacity by 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) is closing down its base oil production unit at the refinery by the second quarter of 2016.

ExxonMobil has three lubricating base oil plants in the United States, including Baton Rouge, La., Baytown, Texas, and Beaumont, Texas. The Beaumont refinery is the smallest of these three, producing 10,000 bpd of Group I base oil, according to the latest report from the American Fuels & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) on Lubricating Oil and Wax Capacities of Refiners and Re-Refiners in the Western Hemisphere. The Baton Rouge refinery is ExxonMobil’s largest Group I base oil plant, producing 16,000 bpd.

The Baytown refinery, on the other hand, produces 9,800 bpd of Group I base oil as well as 11,700 bpd of Group II base oil. The company announced the completion of the expansion of its Group II and Group II+ base oil production in Baytown last April. Base oils or base stocks are the primary ingredients used in the production of lubricating oils and greases. Group II base oils are higher in purity resulting in improved performance advantages in many lubricant and process oil applications.

“We recently expanded our manufacturing of higher performing base stocks (Group II and Group II+) at our facilities in Baytown and in Singapore and are evaluating a potential investment in Rotterdam to meet growing customer needs,” said ExxonMobil spokesman Christian Flathman.

The Beaumont refinery currently has a crude oil processing capacity of 345,000 bpd, compared to Baton Rouge and Baytown, which have a crude oil processing capacity of more than 500,000 bpd each.