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Pricing of synthetic oil #5279570 11/28/19 09:02 AM
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carviewsonic Offline OP
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A post from Quora..

Will synthetic oil become cheaper than conventional as more cars start using it?

Answered Nov 21 · Philip Angevine, I spent almost 40 years in the refining and petrochemicals R&D arena.

Upvoted by Kai Herrmann, Automotive mechanic for 15 years.

First, let me give some personal background. related to the topic.
I joined Mobil R&D in 1976. At that time they were doing fleet tests for Mobil 1, and the results were awesome. Everyone was excited and amazed about this great advance. I had the great privilege of meeting and working with a talented scientist-inventor, the late Bill Garwood. As such, I got a fairly good understanding of lubricants and their place in the oil industry.
Let's talk about financial drivers. For fuels refining, the goal mindset is: (1) economy of scale, (2) keep the plant running (stream factor is great), (3)) throughput is king (squeeze out more barrels per day), (4) avoid risk -- technical, political, and legal. However, in a lubes refining environment, QUALITY is king. The profit opportunity is now measured also by the marketing folks (more upside) "and not just the manufacturing side. Now, for Mobil 1, the profit center is also "chemicals".
FYI, at ExxonMobil ("XOM") the name Mobil is retained mostly for the synthetic oil image (rightly so) of high quality. XOM will maintain that image as long as possible.
Now for the marketing item: most people think of gasoline as a true commodity-- sort of like a load of bread. They don't equate the value as anything but price and maybe octane. However, XOM (and others) have quantified the importance of additives for engine cleanliness (fuel injectors, intake vales, etc.). This idea is magnified bigtime for lubes.
An old colleague of mine once said about synthetics: " This is for guys who pet their cars more than their wives" -- maybe some truth to it. My point is that some folks will recognize the value of synthetics and will pay the higher price -- whatever the market will bear. While there could be downward pressure on price, I'm betting that the consumer will pay the differential.
P.S. Think about the shrinking car size (ignoring the sort-lived SUV bubble). There are the two energy costs: the car weight (load) and engine losses (friction). As the load declines, the friction loss becomes more of an issue. This is where synthetics become more beneficial.
My assessment is that synthetics will maintain their value in the foreseeable future.


'18 Impala
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'03 Park Avenue
'07 Honda Accord
'09 VStar 1300
Re: Pricing of synthetic oil [Re: carviewsonic] #5279576 11/28/19 09:07 AM
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I think the $19.97 Havoline 6 quart smart box is proof they are. Good oil at a fair price. Now the high priced $50 a Jug oil will still be around for those that really think it gives them something other than a thinner wallet.


2004 Corolla 137358
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Re: Pricing of synthetic oil [Re: carviewsonic] #5279583 11/28/19 09:16 AM
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Mad_Hatter Offline
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He could have condensed it to a couple of sentences but I agree for the most part. One part i do not agree with is likening SUV purchases as a "bubble" per se, at least for the N.A. market. Purchase trends are very much driven by the ease of financing, cost of fuel and maintenance. As long as money/lending is "loose" and crude prices remain low, SUV's and trucks will remain king in this market.

No bones about it, we Yank's like our vehicles big.

Last edited by Mad_Hatter; 11/28/19 09:19 AM.
Re: Pricing of synthetic oil [Re: carviewsonic] #5279612 11/28/19 09:38 AM
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daves87rs Offline
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Actually, now is as cheap as we are going to see it. There is going to be a major push in the next few years for electric cars/trucks. And the cost of gas and oil are going to rise quite a bit to help push folks in that direction as well.....


2019 Chevrolet Equinox LS
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt LS
Re: Pricing of synthetic oil [Re: carviewsonic] #5279627 11/28/19 10:03 AM
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BigCahuna Offline
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I don't believe the price of gas and oil is going to rise, to push people towards electric vehicles. The oil companies are in no rush to put themselves out of business. Just like the companies that sell home heating oil haven't thrown in the towel, because most homes use natural gas. When the cost of replacing batteries and other high dollar items become a expensive reality, those cheap easy to refuel, cheaper to repair SUV's and trucks will start to look attractive again. The car companies have realized thru low number sales of cars, the buying public wants SUV's and trucks, so they only want to make what will sell.,,

Re: Pricing of synthetic oil [Re: carviewsonic] #5279728 11/28/19 11:45 AM
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dwendt44 Offline
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Quote
I don't believe the price of gas and oil is going to rise, to push people towards electric vehicles.


True that. A replacement battery for an electric vehicle costs as much if not more than the value of the used
vehicle itself.

My 2¢


There's no such thing as:
Too big of a battery,
Too large of a gas tank,
or too loud of a horn,
or too bright headlights.
Re: Pricing of synthetic oil [Re: carviewsonic] #5279768 11/28/19 12:50 PM
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dubber09 Offline
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Environmental impact of EV batteries production is astronomical, they will never tell this in the media.
Electricity production isn't clean overall either.


Kia Sportage 2014 GDI 2.4L
Kia Forte 2014 MPI 1.8L
Re: Pricing of synthetic oil [Re: carviewsonic] #5279981 11/28/19 07:31 PM
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wemay Offline
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The march towards EVs is inevitable regardless of oil price. The tipping point long since passed.


2018 KIA Sportage LX AWD
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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T
M1AP 5W30, M1-104
Re: Pricing of synthetic oil [Re: daves87rs] #5279985 11/28/19 07:37 PM
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PowerSurge Offline
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As demand for motor oil goes down with the rise of electrics, the price of oil will go down. Barring another war, of course.

Re: Pricing of synthetic oil [Re: dwendt44] #5279987 11/28/19 07:39 PM
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Snagglefoot Offline
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Originally Posted by dwendt44
Quote
I don't believe the price of gas and oil is going to rise, to push people towards electric vehicles.


True that. A replacement battery for an electric vehicle costs as much if not more than the value of the used
vehicle itself.

My 2¢


Yes and the cost to rebuild an engine and transmission costs as much if not more than the value of the used ICE vehicle itself.
smile


If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Pricing of synthetic oil [Re: carviewsonic] #5279992 11/28/19 07:53 PM
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Snagglefoot Offline
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I think we digressed bit. Thank you Carviewsonic for that post representing an opinion from an accomplished industry expert. I remember talking with a professor from the faculty of engineering from the local university. This was when Mobil 1 was newly on the market. He mentioned they were quite excited about it. I asked him what he thought about it. He said “ If you use synthetic oil, and keep your air filter clean, your engine might never wear out”

Now admittedly maybe he was a bit optimistic, but I still think in a real world synthetics are worth it at their current prices, especially with sales and rebates. Flame suit on.

Last edited by Snagglefoot; 11/28/19 07:54 PM.

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Pricing of synthetic oil [Re: carviewsonic] #5280002 11/28/19 08:15 PM
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RDY4WAR Online Content
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Oil is cheap. Whether you spend $4/qt or $14/qt. Let's take that for example.

6 quart capacity
7,500 mile OCI
15,000 miles (2 OCI) per year

The $14/qt oil would cost an additional $120/yr ($10 per month). Realistically, the higher end oil would go longer intervals than that also.

The $4/qt oil would account for 0.12% of my annual budget. At $14/qt, it's 0.41%. By comparison, fuel accounts for 4.54%. (for 1 vehicle)

I see no reason to go cheap on oil. That said, I can also see the reasoning against it when you have good UOAs with cheap oils.

As for electric vehicles, I don't see that being a complete takeover for quite some time.


"He who is without oil, shall throw the first rod." - Compressions 9:1
Re: Pricing of synthetic oil [Re: wemay] #5280023 11/28/19 09:03 PM
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Saabist Online Content
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Originally Posted by wemay
The march towards EVs is inevitable regardless of oil price. The tipping point long since passed.


I very much doubt that. Electric vehicles are still way more expensive and for many people less flexible and less convenient than gasoline power. (Particularly for the many people who don't have a place at home to charge up.) The market is not demanding electric power, the "march towards EVs" is being forced externally and artificially. Eventually electrics will probably become equal or better in value than conventional vehicles and that will be the "tipping point" - but we are not there yet. I personally would not buy an electric car in their current state of development.

I spent several years working at Mobil R&D myself working on software development in the computer department during the 1980s. At the time it was primarily DEC systems in use such as PDP-11, Vax, and the good ol' 36-bit DECSYSTEM-20; stuff relegated to history books and museums now.

Re: Pricing of synthetic oil [Re: carviewsonic] #5280861 11/30/19 05:37 AM
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wemay Offline
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The tipping point was reached when just about every manufacturer decided to invest more in EV technology, and some over ICE, moving forward. Many localities also issuing ICE ban dates.


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Shell RGT 5W20, STP S2808

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T
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Re: Pricing of synthetic oil [Re: carviewsonic] #5281011 11/30/19 10:27 AM
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aquariuscsm Offline
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In my observations dino oil is getting more expensive and catching up to the price of synths.


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2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
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