Growing our industry-leading lubricants business

The lubes value chain covers all activities from crude acquisition to the development and sale of basestocks and finished lubricant products. The lubricants business is organized into two global business units: Basestocks and Specialties, and Finished Lubricants. This global structure enables high-quality delivery and reliable supply. With six lube basestock refineries and 21 finished lubricant blend plants, ExxonMobil is integrated across the entire lubricant value chain. The lubricants business is organized to leverage competitive advantages, while capturing the unique value of superior products.

Report April 2, 2019

In this article

Growing our industry-leading lubricants business

Expanding basestocks

As the world’s largest manufacturer of basestocks, ExxonMobil is committed to bringing the highest-quality and most-efficient production capacity to the base oils marketplace – ensuring long-term, reliable supply of consistent and innovative lube basestocks. Product integrity and supply reliability serve as the foundation of our basestocks production. ExxonMobil’s robust CORE and EHC slates provide a broad range of basestocks with consistent quality and compatible characteristics.

We develop basestock products with sophisticated leading-edge technology and significant ongoing investment in research and development. More than 50 percent of global basestock volume is produced using ExxonMobil proprietary catalyst technology.

Through an ongoing commitment to Group I basestocks and increased investment in advanced Group II basestocks for higher-performance finished lubricants, we are prepared to meet the world’s needs for basestocks today and into the future. The Group I and Group II portfolio offers higher performance capability in almost all lubricant applications, and simplifies qualification testing around the world.

ExxonMobil is a global leader in the production of basestocks

At the end of 2018, ExxonMobil began EHC basestock production at the Rotterdam refinery, following completion of the Rotterdam hydrocracker expansion project, with full commercialization of EHC50 and EHC120 grade products targeted for the first quarter of 2019. With the completion of the Rotterdam project, ExxonMobil will become the world’s largest Group I and Group II basestocks producer.

ExxonMobil is also progressing the Singapore residual upgrade project, which will further increase output of Group II basestocks and cleaner fuels. This investment will provide the site with a significant competitive advantage, derived from the development and application of innovative proprietary technologies that will convert lower-value residual products into cleaner, higher-value fuels products and high-performance light and heavy lube basestocks.

Increasing global demand for group II basestocks

Market position

Basestocks market position (percent)
chart: downstream basestocks market position
Source: Kline

Growing finished lubricants

ExxonMobil is the market leader in high-value synthetic lubricants. Synthetics growth to meet global demand for higher-performance products remains a strategic priority, and includes significant investments in growing markets, such as China, India, and Indonesia. In China, marketing investments and expansion of blending and packaging capacity are supporting growth. In addition, we are expanding distribution to additional population centers through new venues, such as e-commerce, where the Mobil 1 brand is one of the sales leaders on the Chinese web portal Alibaba.

In 2018, ExxonMobil completed the acquisition of PT Federal Karyatama (FKT), one of Indonesia’s largest manufacturers and marketers of motorcycle lubricants. The acquisition included the Federal Oil brand and a 700,000-barrel-per-year blending plant in Cilegon, Indonesia. Federal Oil’s expertise in motorcycle lubricants complements the Mobil lubricants offer in other sectors where ExxonMobil has significant experience.


Molecule management through advanced mass spectrometry and modeling

Crude oil is one of nature’s most complex mixtures. The heavy end of the barrel is particularly difficult to characterize, and remains an area of active research in the industry. ExxonMobil is using state-of-the-art technology to provide a molecular-level “fingerprint” of crude oil.

These “fingerprints” are used to develop compositional models that underpin advantaged Downstream upgrading investments like those being made in Rotterdam and Singapore, and guide our scientists and engineers to identify the most efficient pathways to convert a variety of crude oil feedstocks into high-quality, high-value products like lube basestocks.

Mobil 1, our flagship passenger car motor oil, is sold in more than 100 countries around the world.

Mobil 1 synthetic lubricant is the worldwide leader in synthetic motor oils. It is formulated to handle the harshest conditions of powerful engines and temperature extremes, which is why manufacturers of 70 high-performance vehicle models choose it as their factory fill. Mobil 1 Annual Protection, a new product developed based on consumer research, uses proprietary technology that can provide consumers with the dual benefit of less maintenance and lower cost, while also generating less waste through fewer fills.

We are the world’s leading supplier of aviation lubricants for the aviation industry, with the only “nose-to-tail” product offer. We also offer a full range of products and services in the marine sector, including a global network of more than 700 ports. In the commercial and industrial sphere, we help customers get the most out of their equipment with differentiated products.

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Technology has led to the development of industry-advantaged assets, processes, products, and applications. We invest in fundamental science and research, leading to advances in existing processes and products, as well as new discoveries. This allows us to meet the evolving needs of society, lower operating and project costs, and develop higher-value processes and products.

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The size and breadth of our business provides a critical foundation for long-term success. It enables investments in the development of advanced technologies by leveraging benefits across a large base of operations. Facilities and businesses operated consistently around the globe accelerate experience and learning – replicating innovations, improving effectiveness, and driving down cost. Our size allows us to pursue a wide range of value-accretive investments across the commodity price cycle – specifically taking advantage of counter-cyclical opportunities.

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Strong business fundamentals underpin investments

Our view of global energy and product demand and supply through 2040 informs long-term strategies and investments.

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