Water-Based Release Agents a Good Investment as Oil Prices Stay High

As economic factors including the ongoing war in Ukraine drive up prices of crude oil globally,[1] the relatively steady price of water-based mold release agents present a compelling argument for an alternative to traditional solvent-based mold releases. Hightower Products offers innovative and effective water-based and co-solvent release agents alongside our solvent-based mainstays, so our offerings are much less likely to be constrained due to global supply issues or high oil prices.

Although many molders worry that water-based or co-solvent options won’t perform up to snuff with more familiar solvent-based options, Hightower Products’ water-based and co-solvent release agents deliver an excellent alternative. This is because we have worked to address this concern over more than twenty years of trials and reengineering of our formulas in the field. This hands-on work has allowed Hightower Products to develop our water-based and co-solvent technology to a point where it now performs consistently on par with solvent-based options in both use and release.

While locating supply for our water-based release agents can be as simple and accessible as turning on a tap, a confluence of factors including but not limited to Russia’s war in Ukraine means that high prices remain a risk for buyers of solvent-based release agents.[3]

Why Are Oil Prices High Right Now?

Even before U.S. sanctions on Russian oil imports were imposed on March 8,[1] the run-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused oil prices to rise in expectation of instability in the region.[2] However, even leaving aside the transient nature of the current crisis in Eastern Europe, there remains a tangle of economic factors at play that continue to set up oil prices to increase.

Counterintuitively, one major driver of the high cost of oil today is at least in part due to its sustained low prices in the years leading up to 2020.[3] In a report for TIME, Justin Worland describes how the advent and ease of fracking as a way to access once-scarce sources of oil caused an abundance of cheap oil to flood the market in 2014. As a result of that glut of oil, prices plunged and oil companies lost big. Investors who backed oil companies learned from these heavy losses a reluctance to fund riskier oil ventures, and began instead a trend of influencing oil companies to only focus on their most profitable ventures. This strategy began to take hold in time for oil prices to go briefly negative in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.[3]

Taylor Tepper of FORBES reports how the trend of focusing investment away from new oil production continues to drive the hike in global crude oil prices. A movement by many of the world’s leading investors, including BlackRock, to funnel investment only toward companies with “low levels of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk”[3] has withheld from oil companies the means to increase production. Reluctance from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to ramp up oil production is an additional factor adding to the ongoing lack of supply.[4]

Will Oil Prices Stay High?

Beyond the situation in Ukraine, market forces continue to conspire to keep prices high. Tepper reports on an assertation from CFRA chief investment strategist Sam Stoball that the commitment of OPEC to scale down oil wells “will likely maintain upward pressure on prices.”[4]  Likewise, Worland reports how those on the inside of the oil industry expect that the lack of investment in oil drilling infrastructure will contribute to low supply and thus higher prices over time.  At least for the near term, this prediction for higher prices is echoed by the Independent Statistics and Analysis of the U.S.  Energy Information Administration (EIA) , who released a forecast on March 16 that predicted a likelihood of “crude oil prices higher than $100 a barrel in [the] coming months”.[5]

Water-Based and Co-solvent Mold Release

Even should the conflict in Eastern Europe resolve promptly, the same complex reasons that oil prices remain high show no signs of reversing themselves.  Choose one of Hightower Products’ many water-based or co-solvent solutions, and you’re choosing a sure bet in a market ruled by the volatility of hydrocarbon solvents. And because no one wants to be stuck with one solution, Hightower Products is committed to offering a variety of water-based and co-solvent mold release options alongside our traditional solvent-based mold release agentsContact one of our technical sales representatives to suggest a solution or tailor one to meet your specific needs, and be assured of a superior release at a stable price.

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