The crude oil that flowed was high in wax content, which is typical of Pennsylvania crude. Although reserves are low, this crude produces fine grades of oil and wax. Much of the wax sold by Hase Petroleum Wax is refined and shipped from Pennsylvania. In addition, crude oil from the western U.S., the Middle East, and Asian sources augment the wax feed stocks from which waxes are produced. Changing supplies of crude oil along with technological and market changes have effected who makes wax and where it comes from. Click here to view Feedstock/Product Flow Chart
Historically, wax has been removed from the lubricating fraction by means of solvent extraction. Lube oil producers had frequently considered it a necessary evil as its removal was expensive and prices for the wax were low in comparison to the finished lube oil. Waxes became more valuable during the oil shortages of the early 1970's and have remained so ever since, especially as lube oil prices and profits dropped well below that of the waxes.
As America lost much of its heavy manufacturing to foreign countries and while technology in lube oil production changed, many refineries began closing their lube oil producing facilities and in so doing took out the more valuable wax product line. Among them were:
New technology for refining lube oils, i.e. isodewaxing, and tighter requirements for lubricating oils have been the primary reason for change. Today, our largest supplier purposely makes wax from slack wax and petrolatum feedstocks and gets oil as a byproduct assuring continuity of supply. Also, imported wax is a crucial source of wax supply for us and the industry.