Vertex taps Sommer to handle Group III base oil sales in U.S. for Penthol

Vertex Energy, Inc., whose primary focus is recycling used motor oil and other petroleum by-product streams, has announced the appointment of Michael Sommer as manager of product sales development, a newly created position within Vertex.

With headquarters in Houston, Texas, U.S.A., Vertex processing facilities are located in Houston, Marrero, La., and Columbus, Ohio.

Sommer is a 30-year veteran of the lubricants industry and brings to Vertex demonstrated leadership in management as well as sales and marketing experience in base oil, finished lubricants and refinery by-products, such as asphalt extenders and recycled fuel oil.

Prior to joining Vertex, Sommer worked at Safety-Kleen, Inc., where he held progressively more responsible positions in management and sales over a 23-year period. From 2005 until 2010, he served as a senior vice president, with responsibility for USD550 million of refinery sales across North America.

“We are looking to Mike to take a leadership role in growing our Group III base oil sales, which is a key element of our long-range business plans. Future trends in motor oil lubricants will demand higher quality base oils. Our Heartland facility already produces high quality Group II base oil, which we believe, together with our Group III base oils and available assets and resources, will position Vertex to continue to grow in a changing lubricants market,” said Benjamin P. Cowart, Vertex CEO.

“I am excited to be joining Vertex at what I believe is an important time in the development of the company and its brand. The United States does not produce Group III base oils, and so, Vertex has secured a foothold in a growing market with its recent agreement to begin importation of these base oils in conjunction with Penthol. The first cargo has arrived, the transportation arrangements are made, and to a sales professional, there is nothing more exciting than having a product in high demand with a company like Vertex and a partner like Penthol that is committed to making a successful entry into a new market,” Sommer said.

Penthol is lifting Group III base oils from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (ADNOC) new base oil refinery in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Marketing of the base oils in the United States is handled by Penthol LLC in Houston, a subsidiary of Penthol C.V., in cooperation with Vertex Energy.