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#3309509 - 03/12/14 03:04 PM Re: Is XOM turning to GTL [Re: Ayrton]
Tom NJ Offline


Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 1637
Loc: New Jersey & Virginia
Originally Posted By: Ayrton
Did we ever conclusively know VISOM is used in products other than Mobil 1 0w-40?

The Powerpoint was all about 0w-40 that discussed VISOM.


Yes - based on gas chromatography analysis and MSDSs, VISOM was used in many grades. Once ExxonMobil decided VISOM can be labeled synthetic, it makes sense from both a technical and economic standpoint to use as much of it as a viscosity grade can fit. Blended with PAO and AN it makes for a very nice base oil mix.

Tom NJ

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#3309520 - 03/12/14 03:13 PM Re: Is XOM turning to GTL [Re: Realtech214]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 26218
Loc: Michigan
Since both GTL as well as VISOM are unoficially considered group III+, meaning something better than other group III components, what would be the primary benefits for XOM to move from VISOM to GTL? Does using GTL result in a significantly higher quality product on the shelf (for us consumers)? Is GTL cheaper to produce?
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#3309532 - 03/12/14 03:21 PM Re: Is XOM turning to GTL [Re: Quattro Pete]
OVERKILL Online   content


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 26730
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Since both GTL as well as VISOM are unoficially considered group III+, meaning something better than other group III components, what would be the primary benefits for XOM to move from VISOM to GTL? Does using GTL result in a significantly higher quality product on the shelf (for us consumers)? Is GTL cheaper to produce?



QP:

I'll hazard a guess at the answers to this:

No, I don't think GTL is inherently a "better" base stock than other GIII offerings like VISOM, though perhaps it is in some aspects that I am unaware of shrug Tom is better equipped to answer that aspect of it.

Is it cheaper to produce? If Mobil's track record is any indication, no. They wasted billions of dollars on it already with nothing to show for it. And once a functioning plant is in fact created, it still has to pay for itself.

The primary benefit is obvious: The abundance of Natural Gas. Places like Quatar and other reserves around the globe make GTL plants attractive due to this. If it can also be used as a source of high quality base oils (as SHELL has shown to be quite viable if you are willing to commit to the investment) then I think there is some solid logic behind pursuing it as crude becomes harder to obtain.

To me it comes off as a method of future-proofing the industry as easy to obtain crude becomes harder to find.
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#3309566 - 03/12/14 03:46 PM Re: Is XOM turning to GTL [Re: dparm]
MBluthe Offline


Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 11
Loc: AZ
dparm, how do you know what base oils Mobil 1 is using? In everything I read, EM indicates that the information is proprietary. If there is a source for this, please give a link. I can never find"anything" about base oils, or most additives from the "big boys". Is there a source out there?

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#3309636 - 03/12/14 04:53 PM Re: Is XOM turning to GTL [Re: Quattro Pete]
Tom NJ Offline


Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 1637
Loc: New Jersey & Virginia
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Since both GTL as well as VISOM are unoficially considered group III+, meaning something better than other group III components, what would be the primary benefits for XOM to move from VISOM to GTL? Does using GTL result in a significantly higher quality product on the shelf (for us consumers)? Is GTL cheaper to produce?



Natural gas can be difficult and expensive to transport and distribute. GTL plants allow gas in difficult locations to be monetized by converting it near the well head into transportable liquids. The primary product is low sulfur fuel and this drives the plant justification.

Because there is so little GTL commercially available, data on the base oils and lubricants made from them is difficult to come by. From the limited data I have seen over the years, GTL appears to be very similar to Group III+ base oil, although there appears to be some performance distinctions such as Noack.

Cost to produce GTL base oil is somewhat arbitrary since it is a lessor co-product. To some extent the cost is based on the value of natural gas, and to some extent on how the manufacturer chooses to allocates costs among the plant products. I suspect they have the flexibility to price the base oils as necessary to meet their marketing plan. If that means rapid market share capture from Group III, they can probably do so, but with limited availability I would expect them to exploit any technical advantages and/or marketing distinctions first.

In my opinion, Pennzoil is not doing enough to differentiate their products based on GTL. Just renaming them with vague marketing terminology like "PurePlus Technology" falls on jaded ears. They need to tout specific differences/advantages compared to competitive products to extract more value. I would have created a new premium brand built around GTL based oils, rather than quietly slipping this new and exciting base oil into existing brands with a few new marketing buzz words.

Tom NJ

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#3309658 - 03/12/14 05:15 PM Re: Is XOM turning to GTL [Re: Realtech214]
Lex94 Offline


Registered: 09/28/06
Posts: 495
Loc: NoVA
Maybe Qatarzoil or Muslim State?

It is kinda strange they renamed Ultra to Ultra Platinum...Does anyone actually think this will help?

Agreed...A new brand might be better but it would require a lot of marketing dollars. It's like trying to get people to change beers. Using pretty girls who suddenly admire - and want to sleep with - a man as he picks up a bottle of oil...at Walmart. Works every time.


Edited by Lex94 (03/12/14 05:16 PM)

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#3309662 - 03/12/14 05:22 PM Re: Is XOM turning to GTL [Re: jrustles]
Gokhan Online   content


Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1601
Loc: Los Angeles, California
Originally Posted By: jrustles
Originally Posted By: HTSS_TR
Even as late as mid 2000's conventional 10W30 was more shear stable than 5W30, that why Honda recommends 10W30 for S2000.


Among the same product lines formulated with the same type of base oils ie PYB 5w30/10w30 or more favourably PU 5w30/10w30, this is still true in 2014. While PMA vIIs have advanced greatly over the years, the 10w30 will always be more shear stable, until such a time as VII polymers become as shear resistance as pure base oil.

But I'm not concerned about 5w/0w shearing, my primary reason for favouring straighter oils in appropriate ambient temperatures has all to do with gradual, long-term ring coking and varnishing.

You guys are forgetting about the difference between temporary shear of the viscosity-index improvers (VIIs) and permanent shear of the VIIs. Temporary shear of the VIIs is what causes the HTHSV to be lower for a fresh multigrade than a fresh straight grade. Permanent shear is the permanent viscosity loss of used multigrade oil.

I also though in the past that the 10W-30-over-5W-30 recommendation was because of permanent viscosity shear. However, I finally realized that this was not the real reason. The real reason was the lack of HTHSV minimums in the SAE revisions back then, and 5W-30 HTHSV could be a lot lower than the 10W-30 HTHSV not because of permanent oil shear of used oil but also the temporary shear of the VIIs in high-shear conditions (fast sliding parts). Note that even the SAE J300 may have been revised sometime in the 1990s to include the HTHSV minimums, since older-spec oils are used around the world, car makers would still make their viscosity recommendations according to the old SAE J300 revisions as far into as 2000s.

Old owner's manuals recommended 10W-30 but not 5W-30, but this is only because SAE J300 revisions didn't put HTHSV minimums on oils back then. SAE J300 has been revised for quite long to include HTHSV minimums (2.9 cP for xW-30) and all xW-30s should perform similarly in demanding conditions now. So, 10W-30 instead of 5W-30 or 0W-30 is an obsolete consideration. Moreover, a fully synthetic 5W-30 often gives you some added degree of confidence with respect to permanent oil shear (viscosity loss) in comparison to a conventional 5W-30. You can try both conventional and fully synthetic 5W-30 to see if your UOAs show any difference with respect wear and permanent oil shear.

Here is a completely obsolete -- thanks to revisions in SAE J300 -- oil-viscosity-recommendation chart for 1997 - 2000 Chrysler full-size trucks. They didn't even recommend 5W-40 for high-temperatures because they thought 5W-40 would be thinner than 10W-30 as far as high-temperature, high-shear (HTHS) viscosity is concerned!:

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#3309699 - 03/12/14 06:00 PM Re: Is XOM turning to GTL [Re: Tom NJ]
jrustles Offline


Registered: 02/24/13
Posts: 2035
Loc: Ontario, Canada
good point Gokhan.

It's good that HTHS viscosity was standardized to each grade/spread because it helps to offer some standardization to the lacking and inadequate SAE grading system.

Now that standards (J300) have been established for hths, the manufacturers no longer need to recommend grades based on generalities and best guesses on the way certain SAE grades behave, because now as long as a formula meets the J300 (mandatory), it's no longer a concern.

Originally Posted By: Lex94
Maybe Qatarzoil or Muslim State?



i lol'd

Originally Posted By: Tom NJ
GTL plants allow gas in difficult locations to be monetized by converting it near the well head into transportable liquids. The primary product is low sulfur fuel and this drives the plant justification.


The mobile GTL facilities are going to be the choice of industry I think, because of lower initial investment, flexibility and viability of moving liquid product from remote fields rather than piping/liquifying CH4. Operating costs may be a poorer value vs one large facility like pearl

Quote:

Cost to produce GTL base oil is somewhat arbitrary since it is a lessor co-product. To some extent the cost is based on the value of natural gas, and to some extent on how the manufacturer chooses to allocates costs among the plant products. I suspect they have the flexibility to price the base oils as necessary to meet their marketing plan. If that means rapid market share capture from Group III, they can probably do so, but with limited availability I would expect them to exploit any technical advantages and/or marketing distinctions first.

In my opinion, Pennzoil is not doing enough to differentiate their products based on GTL. Just renaming them with vague marketing terminology like "PurePlus Technology" falls on jaded ears. They need to tout specific differences/advantages compared to competitive products to extract more value. I would have created a new premium brand built around GTL based oils, rather than quietly slipping this new and exciting base oil into existing brands with a few new marketing buzz words.

Tom NJ


totally agreed. IMO they should send some of the tribos / ch.E to work with their marketing department, and come up with a proper, stable brand strategy
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#3309769 - 03/12/14 06:59 PM Re: Is XOM turning to GTL [Re: Tom NJ]
buster Offline


Registered: 11/16/02
Posts: 29218
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: Tom NJ
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Since both GTL as well as VISOM are unoficially considered group III+, meaning something better than other group III components, what would be the primary benefits for XOM to move from VISOM to GTL? Does using GTL result in a significantly higher quality product on the shelf (for us consumers)? Is GTL cheaper to produce?



Natural gas can be difficult and expensive to transport and distribute. GTL plants allow gas in difficult locations to be monetized by converting it near the well head into transportable liquids. The primary product is low sulfur fuel and this drives the plant justification.

Because there is so little GTL commercially available, data on the base oils and lubricants made from them is difficult to come by. From the limited data I have seen over the years, GTL appears to be very similar to Group III+ base oil, although there appears to be some performance distinctions such as Noack.

Cost to produce GTL base oil is somewhat arbitrary since it is a lessor co-product. To some extent the cost is based on the value of natural gas, and to some extent on how the manufacturer chooses to allocates costs among the plant products. I suspect they have the flexibility to price the base oils as necessary to meet their marketing plan. If that means rapid market share capture from Group III, they can probably do so, but with limited availability I would expect them to exploit any technical advantages and/or marketing distinctions first.

In my opinion, Pennzoil is not doing enough to differentiate their products based on GTL. Just renaming them with vague marketing terminology like "PurePlus Technology" falls on jaded ears. They need to tout specific differences/advantages compared to competitive products to extract more value. I would have created a new premium brand built around GTL based oils, rather than quietly slipping this new and exciting base oil into existing brands with a few new marketing buzz words.

Tom NJ


Well said. cheers
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#3309788 - 03/12/14 07:17 PM Re: Is XOM turning to GTL [Re: Tom NJ]
Solarent Offline


Registered: 10/24/11
Posts: 457
Loc: Calgary AB
I could be wrong, but I honestly don't think that there is much distinction between Shell's GTL and VISOM or even PC's HTPURITY - even though the process and feedstocks are different - it seems to me based on what the Pennzoil Q&A said they are focusing more on creating additive-base oil combinations rather than extolling the benefits of GTL over other Group III synthetics:

Quote:
The benefits specific to piston cleanliness, fuel economy and wear protection are derived from the synergistic combination of Pennzoil high performance additive chemistry and PurePlus Base Oil. This means that PurePlus™ Technology in effect helps additive technology work better providing consumers a harder working motor oil.

Quote:
While PurePlus™ Base Oil and PAO base oil differ in regard to viscosity, volatility and chemical composition, PurePlus Base Oil and PAO are similar in their ability to enable top-of-the-line engine oils to perform at a very high level. The key difference between Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus™ Technology and competitive PAO formulations rests with the additive chemistry that is paired with the PurePlus Base Oils. The synergy of PurePlus Base Oils and our best additive chemistry, in the Pennzoil line up of products, results in a fully synthetic motor


That's why I asked them if they would be marketing it to 3rd party blenders:
Quote:
5. Will Shell be marketing the PurePlus Base Oil to independent blenders? (is it possible we will see this base show up in products blended by other manufacturers)?

Shell has exclusive marketing rights to Pearl GTL base oil, and we are primarily focused on using GTL base oils within our finished lubricants business. There are no plans to offer Shell GTL base oils for spot trading.


I thought for sure they would be being as they trademarked the Pureplus name and everything. Oh well, I guess we probably won't know unless someone can sneak in to one of their blending plants and siphon off a sample from a storage tank.


Originally Posted By: Tom NJ
In my opinion, Pennzoil is not doing enough to differentiate their products based on GTL. Just renaming them with vague marketing terminology like "PurePlus Technology" falls on jaded ears. They need to tout specific differences/advantages compared to competitive products to extract more value. I would have created a new premium brand built around GTL based oils, rather than quietly slipping this new and exciting base oil into existing brands with a few new marketing buzz words.

Tom NJ


Maybe they weighed the technical understanding required vs the common citizen who still struggles to justify purchasing synthetic over mineral oils, and would rather focus on easy to swallow things like 40% or 65% cleaner than required on industry tests, and other more average joe catch phrases. Although the opportunity to create a new premium brand may be lost - perhaps that would have been wasted on an unassuming public. After all Shell doesn't command almost 25% of the market for nothing.

And as Tom said earlier - the primary reason for the GTL plant is fuel production. These major companies are primarily focused on energy production - downstream products are important, but when lubes represent less than 10% of the products produced by a barrel of oil, there is more to think about has to why XOM might not be into the GTL game.

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#3310089 - 03/13/14 12:58 AM Re: Is XOM turning to GTL [Re: A_Harman]
Garak Offline


Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 11756
Loc: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: A_Harman
This tidbit is worth remembering. It explains that a lot of people's attachment to 10w30 is the result of limitations of 5w30's back in the '80's.

Exactly. He's spot on with that. Those were the days where you looked to minimize the spread when you could. 5w-30 was often seen as a winter compromise, not so much an all year oil like it is now. Nonetheless, my LTD never got any 10w-30 (only 5w-30) after it left taxi service.
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2008 Infiniti G37 coupe - Mobil Delvac 1 ESP 5w-40, Hastings LF113
1984 F-150 4.9L six - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515

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