Answers - Pennzoil Technology behind "Made From Natural Gas" and Vehicle maintenance while driving less Q&A

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wwillson

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Pennzoil Made From Natural Gas Questions:
  1. In the process that converts natural gas to base oils, what percent of the finished base oil is the molecule or molecules you are trying to produce? Said another way, how pure is the finished base oil?
    • The goal of refining is to make your end products as free from contaminants and as pure as possible while balancing manufacturing efficiency and cost. At Pennzoil, our PurePlus technology is a patented, revolutionary process that converts pure natural gas into high-quality full synthetic base oil used in our Pennzoil Platinum line of lubricants. Our base stock is made from natural gas, so it is crystal clear with fewer of the impurities found in crude oil, the start of many other traditional and synthetic motor oils. Base oil made from natural gas is 99.5% free from impurities such as sulfur, nitrogen and saturates (double bonds, cyclic and aromatic compounds). This base oil has performance characteristics that is far superior to other Group III base oils derived from crude.

  2. How does being made from natural gas provide any benefit over other refined base oils in a finished motor oil?
    • I am a chemist and a cook. I compare the formulation for motor oil to making your favorite soup. You must start with a good base stock in order to make your soup more flavorful. With a good base stock, the rest of the ingredients will complement the base stock to make it a richer, better soup. The same premise applies with motor oil! Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) base stock is more than 99.5% free of impurities and has inherent performance characteristics over crude-derived Group III base oil. Here is a link to how GTL is made and some key benefits of synthetic base oil made from natural gas: http://gasprocessingnews.com/featur...roduces-clean-base-oils-from-natural-gas.aspx
    • A motor oil’s formulation should have a balance based on the wear protection, cleanliness, oxidation resistance and other specific needs. Those needs derive from industry and OEM specifications, viscosity metrics and more. When we know what benefits (flavors) we already have in our base oil, we can then focus on additives that will enhance the performance of our finished oil as seen in our Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic line of motor oils – just like making a perfect soup.

  3. Are there modifications possible that could easily improve performance of lower viscosity GTL base oil?
    • If you talk to any oil formulator or refiner, there is always a way to make a base oil better. However, there is a cost in manufacturing associated with focusing too much on one specific performance. The link in question #2 shows a balanced performance of our made from natural gas base oil that is superior to crude-derived Group III oils in the market. By focusing on our strengths, we can then allocate resources to give our finished engine oils like Pennzoil Platinum to deliver complete protection and performance, including better fuel economy¹, unsurpassed wear protection², cleaner pistons³ and excellent performance in extreme temperatures.
      ¹ Based on the latest industry standard
      ² Based on Sequence IVA wear test using SAE 5W-30
      ³ Based on Sequence IIIH results. Does not apply to Pennzoil Platinum® Euro motor oil

  4. Someone I trust said that "Made From Natural Gas" probably should be considered a little higher than a group III oil. Can you comment on this?
    • The main difference between a Group II and Group III (synthetic) base oil, based on API specifications, is the Viscosity Index; > 120 for Group III base oils. To be classified as a Group III oil, it also must have sulfur content less than or equal to 0.03 Wt % and ≤10% saturates like napthene, cyclics or aromatics. Base oil made from natural gas is 99.5% free of impurities thus the API limits have some room for differentiation of Group III base oil, like our made from natural gas base oils.

  5. Can you explain the advantages/disadvantages/differences of GTL-derived synthetics vs. hydrocracked synthetics vs. PAO/POEs?
    • Question #1 & #2 help explain the difference between the two, but for PAOs and Ester group oils, they are a different API Group – IV and V. It does not mean it is a better oil in a fully formulated oil, however. Some motor oils made with Group III base oils can outperform some oils made from Group IV or V in some areas.

  6. Why is the flashpoint so low for Pennzoil Platinum and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum as compared to competitor oils? What are the flashpoints of these two respective oils? The flashpoint for each of them on an online MSDS states 224C (435F), but those may have been from an older datasheet before Shell switched to GTL.
  7. Why do I experience oil consumption with Pennzoil Platinum and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum? I never had oil consumption prior to the PurePlus formulations.
    • There is an old wives’ tale that synthetic motor oil will cause leaks in an older engine. This is not the case! However, if you have an older engine and it has not been maintained properly, then there may be a build-up of sludge and varnish that may hide those leak issues. Once a high-quality synthetic is introduced, it may speed up the cleaning process and remove those build-ups, exposing those wear areas. Leaks may show up because of the removal of those build ups. If this is the case, we recommend using Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage Full Synthetic motor oil for older vehicles. Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage motor oil provides cleaner pistons¹ and is specially formulated to reduce leaks and oil consumption in older vehicles.
      ¹Based on Sequence IIIH results. Does not apply to Pennzoil Platinum® Euro motor oil.

  8. What is the reasoning behind your oils being so relatively thin? Why make your oils start at the bottom of the viscosity range and isn't shearing out of grade with use an issue if you do that?
    • See answer for question #2 and #28.

    Pennzoil Ultra Platinum

  9. Why is Pennzoil Ultra Platinum so difficult to find at retail locations compared to Pennzoil Platinum?
    • Retailers and installers are independent business people that are free to choose the products and services they offer to consumers. If you change your own oil, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum is available for purchase at Advance Auto Parts, Amazon, Walmart. If you prefer to have your oil changed for you, please contact your service shop to confirm available products. Pennzoil Ultra Platinum is available at participating installer locations across the country.

  10. Is there any plan to certify Pennzoil Ultra Platinum under Dexos1?
    • There are no current plans to certify Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil. Pennzoil does offer a dexos™ 1 Gen 2 certified product – Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil in SAE 0W-20, SAE 5W-20 and SAE 5W-30.

  11. There seems to be lots of confusion about this topic. Briefly explain the target applications for the many different Pennzoil/Shell motor oils. For example, what is the difference between Pennzoil Platinum/Pennzoil Ultra Platinum/Shell ROTELLA Gas Truck? How can the consumer make a choice of these products over each other for their car?
    • We always recommend following your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine the proper motor oil viscosity for your engine. As you mentioned, all of the products have different applications. We recommend using Shell Rotella Gas Truck Full Synthetic motor oil in gasoline pick-ups and SUVs when their vehicle experiences more extreme conditions including driving with heavy load, driving in dusty conditions, stop and go driving, frequent short trips, extreme hot or cold temperatures, and extensive idling.
    • On the Pennzoil side, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum is recommended if you want superior protection for top engine performance. Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage is recommended if your vehicle has 75K or more miles driven, if not then Pennzoil Platinum. Pennzoil Ultra and Pennzoil Platinum are suitable for use in all car, SUV, light van and truck gasoline engines; under all driving conditions.

  12. When using Pennzoil for the first couple of oil changes, should we expect it to darken more if the engine has been neglected? Does this mean more contaminants are in suspension then? My vehicles oil service record is unknown to me, but this is what I experienced during the first two 5,000 Oil Change Intervals with Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 5W-30 to be nearly pitch black then afterwards it was more clean in color.
    • Yes, any poorly maintained engine will accumulate sludge and varnish over time. Introducing a high-quality engine oil like Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil will help clean up deposits and sludge which will be removed during the oil drain period. Continuous use of these motor oils will keep your engine clean and protect it from build-up of sludge and varnish that is generated from engine combustion and contaminants.

  13. Can you update the PDS for Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 0W20? Your website and the EPC.Shell site are missing API SP PDS, but you can buy API SP Pennzoil Ultra Platinum on Amazon.
    • Thank you for bringing it to our attention, we just completed a TDS update, but we will ensure this is reviewed again to ensure accuracy.
    • Pennzoil Ultra Platinum is available for purchase at Advance Auto Parts, Amazon, Walmart, and at participating installer locations across the country. Please contact your service shop to confirm available products.

  14. Can you provide us with updated TDS for the 0W-20 grade of both your Pennzoil Ultra Platinum as well as Pennzoil Platinum?
    Pennzoil Platinum

  15. What is the ppm of Moly in Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage?
    • We are not able to share that information as it is proprietary information.

  16. Why does Pennzoil Platinum contain lower amounts of Phosphorus and Zinc compared to other competitor oils? Phosphorus and Zinc levels are 100-150 ppm lower than certain Mobil 1 and Castrol products.
    • “Zinc” or ZDDP levels do not predict the performance of motor oils. Phosphorus concentration is the limiting factor in the use of ZDDP due to emission regulations and API specs. Pennzoil choses to balance our formula with alternative additives. While we cannot comment on competitor products and formulations, we can share that Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil exceeds the toughest industry standards (ILSAC GF-6 and API SP) and exceeds the most stringent car manufacturer requirements for cleanliness (ILSAC GF-6, Ford, Chrysler and GM specifications, excluding Pennzoil Platinum Euro and Pennzoil Platinum 5W-50 motor oil).

  17. Why is the KV100 so low in Pennzoil Platinum 5W-30? It is near the upper limit of 5W-20. The lower KV100 rating of Pennzoil Platinum 5W-30 is the main reason that I will not use it.
    • Kinematic viscosity is one data point in a motor oil’s physical characteristic. It is true that Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil in SAE 5W-30 has a KV of 9.8 cSt and the upper limit for an SAE 5W-20 is less than 9.3. This is due to the fact that Pennzoil Platinum SAE 5W-30 has a viscosity index (VI) of 170, meaning that it resists temperature thinning/thickening across a range of temperatures. Thus, we are able to formulate at the lower viscosity limit to allow excellent performance in extreme temperatures while not sacrificing unbeatable wear protection¹.
      ¹ Based on Sequence IVA wear test using SAE 5W-30.

  18. What is the Noack rating of Pennzoil Platinum 10W-30? What about Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 10W-30? I saw it quoted about 5 years ago as 4.7%, placing it among the best of any oil, regardless of price.
    • The API limit for oil evaporation loss (ASTM D5800) is less than 15%. We formulate Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil in SAE 10W-30 using 100% synthetic base oil made from natural gas with NOACK evaporation loss properties that is far below the API standards (see link in question #2).

  19. Pennzoil Platinum Euro 0W-40: SN+ and SP versions have different technical specifications listed for viscosity, etc., but the product number is the same for both. Are they different formulations or the same?
    • To support our retail market, we simplified our product numbers. As for formulation, we are unable to share formulation information since it is proprietary.

  20. Just about every oil company including Pennzoil have been releasing special Hybrid oil lines. The PDS for both of your 0W-16 oils (Platinum and Hybrid) look identical. Is there a different add pack or is it just a rebadge to sell to younger Hybrid owners? Can you state the benefits of the Hybrid compared to Platinum if it is a different formula?
    • We at Pennzoil continuously evaluate our portfolio to ensure we’re producing the most technologically advanced products that meet the evolving needs of our customers. Through our evaluation, we have made the decision to streamline our product portfolio and will no longer be producing Pennzoil Hybrid. Pennzoil remains driven by a passion for innovation and an ambition to make the highest performing motor oils on the market and we are proud to continue to offer an industry leading lineup of motor oils made from natural gas.

    Other

  21. So I guess Gena Fishbeck is gone?
    • Pennzoil will continue to be a presence on BobIsTheOilGuy and is reachable via direct message on the forum or by emailing [email protected].

  22. When do you expect to certify your oils under the upcoming Dexos1 Gen 3?
    • Currently, GM has said that the first use date for dexos® 1 Gen3 is September 1, 2021. Gen 2 licensing will cease as of Sept 1, 2021 and there will be a 1-year grace period to sell off existing stocks. Pennzoil plans to have a product available at the first use date for our customers and suppliers. You can read more about the upcoming dexos® specifications in this article here: https://www.lubesngreases.com/lubereport-americas/dexos1-gen-3-tests-available-sept-1/

  23. I like Pennzoil 5W-40 for my cars. Does either of your 5W-40s come close to meeting Dexos 1, Gen. 2 standards? Or, what am I missing by using Pennzoil 5W-40 instead of a 5W-30 Dexos 1 Gen. 2 approved motor oil?
    • For an oil to be certified as a dexos® oil, it must be submitted, tested and approved by GM. At the release of dexos®1 Gen2 timeline, there was not a need for us to get the dexos® certification for Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil in SAE 5W-40 because they did not have any vehicle calling for that viscosity. Having a dexos® approved SAE 5W-40 motor oil would not be possible nor approved by GM.

  24. What is the purpose of Pennzoil Full Synthetic "Black Label"?
    • Pennzoil Full Synthetic motor oil was just introduced and is now available for purchase at AutoZone. Pennzoil Full Synthetic is formulated to provide 40% better performance than conventional motor oil¹ and allows fewer oil changes compared to conventional motor oil. Pennzoil recognizes that more automotive manufacturers (OEMs) are recommending the use of synthetic motor oil in their vehicles to comply with latest industry standards and environmental regulations. These vehicles are running on smaller more efficient engines with newer technologies such as turbochargers, gasoline direct injection, variable valve timing, and timing chains. To reliably protect these new complex hardware, a synthetic motor oil is generally recommended. Pennzoil is introducing an entry-level full synthetic motor oil for motorists making the transition from conventional or synthetic blend motor oil to a full synthetic motor oil or considering using a branded full synthetic product. If you’re looking to upgrade from conventional or synthetic blend motor oil, Pennzoil Full Synthetic is the right choice for you.
      ¹Compared to Pennzoil Conventional Motor Oil

  25. We've noticed that Shell ROTELLA Gas Truck and Quaker State Ultimate Durability look very similar based on Virgin Oil Analyses; is there any functional difference between these two that are not shown on these reports?
    • Shell Rotella Gas Truck utilizes a performance additive package with boosted oxidation protection. The boost in oxidation protection allows the oil to handle the increased thermal stresses placed upon the engine and oil in severe operations such as towing loads. Standard element based oil analysis would not be able to detect a boost in antioxidancy. Antioxidants are typically composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen which tend to be overshadowed by other important components of the product including base oils and other performance additives.

  26. Is there a plan for SOPUS products to follow the "Bag in Box" model for oil?
    • Shell first introduced its Ecobox design in June 2010 for use within installer locations to help reduce plastic usage in the packing by more than 80%. We continuously evaluated and innovate to optimize the efficiency of our production process, including the design of products with less packaging and encourage our customers to buy in bulk.

  27. Do you have plans for a 5w-30 that borders more on the high side of the scale?
    • This question can be answered in our response #18, however, if you are thinking of the viscometric scale, the range for Kinematic Viscosity of an SAE 5W-30 is between 9.3 to 12.4 cSt. Any oil that falls in this range can be considered an SAE xW-30 oil. Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil is made from natural gas, and formulated to have a high viscosity index for unsurpassed wear protection¹ and excellent performance in extreme temperatures.
      ¹Based on Sequence IVA wear test using SAE 5W-30.

  28. Is there plans for an oil that meets both euro specs and API simultaneously, or is the separation of the two simply market economics?
    • Some of our oils will meet ACEA and OEM specifications and still meet the API specifications. Our technical data sheet (TDS) will normally list all the approvals that a specific motor oil will meet. In certain specific niche specifications, it is physically not possible to have an oil that will meet all specifications.

  29. Pennzoil Gold bottles used to have "at least 50% synthetic" printed on the bottles. Now, Pennzoil Motor Oil (what used to be your Conventional) is labeled synthetic blend in 5W-20 and 5W-30. Can you share the approximate synthetic percentage in these oils?
    • As new vehicles are being introduced and new specifications are rolled out, high performance motor oils are needed to meet the needs of these vehicles. Thus, certain motor oil viscosities require some amount of synthetic base oils to meet these specifications, especially volatility and oxidation limits. Thus, our former conventional SAE 5W-20 and SAE 5W-30 motor oils had to be reformulated with a high-level synthetic to be considered our “synthetic blend” products. Unfortunately, we cannot share formulation concentrations on these products as they are proprietary and confidential

  30. Can you include ZDDP in your TDS?
    • Zinc dialkyldithiophosphates, commonly known as ZDDP or “zinc,” is a well-known anti-wear and anti-oxidant agent found in motor oil. We typically do not mention ZDDP in our Technical Data Sheet. Additionally, because of emissions regulation and industry specifications, most motor oil viscosity weights must have a limit of 800ppm or less of phosphorus – the “P” in ZDDP. Secondly, there are many variations of zinc in the marketplace, with varying characteristics and performance. Thus, the level of zinc in a formulation may give a false representation of an oil’s performance or quality.

  31. Is there any advantage/disadvantage to running a HDEO (ex: T6 5W-40) in an out-of-warranty turbo gasoline passenger car?
    • We recommend following the engine manufacturer recommendations for oil viscosity and API requirements for your car. If the motor oil being considered has the same SAE viscosity (correct SAE viscosity is crucial for protection of Turbos) and has an API rating that is higher or newer than what your manufacturer recommends, then the oil should be fine to use.

  32. Will Pennzoil ever make a 0W-30 High mileage oil?
    • We continuously evaluate our portfolio of products to ensure we provide the very best options to satisfy the demands of our customers and consumers.

  33. With the licensing of API SP, most oil companies have posted their wear and cleanliness numbers compared to API SP specs. Royal Purple and Castrol are advertising 6x better wear protection than required by API. Amsoil is advertising 5.28x better and Valvoline is advertising only 50% more wear protection on the Full Synthetic High Mileage formula. Quaker State used to do that with API SN but with API SP they only talk mostly about cleanliness. Would Pennzoil look into publishing their wear performance for advertising or is it so poor you don’t want to publish it?
    • While we cannot comment on competitor products and formulations, what we can say is that Pennzoil product specifications are available via Pennzoil.com for each product and Visgrade. With respect to wear and cleanliness, we know no other leading motor oil provides better wear protection¹ than Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage, and no other leading high mileage motor oil provides better protection from friction² either.
      ¹Based on Sequence IVA wear test using SAE 5W-30.
      ²Based on Sequence IVA wear test using SAE 5W-30.

  34. Quaker State, Mobil 1 and Castrol have posted engine tear downs using a popular car model and shown the results. Would Pennzoil consider doing an engine tear down in the future?
    • We are happy to raise this concept as an opportunity with our technical field trial team for consideration.
 
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*With respect to wear and cleanliness, we know no other leading motor oil provides better wear protection¹ than Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage, and no other leading high mileage motor oil provides better protection from friction² either.
¹Based on Sequence IVA wear test using SAE 5W-30.
²Based on Sequence IVA wear test using SAE 5W-30.*

So this would indicate that PPHM is Pennzoil's cream of the crop? I will say this, it's the smoothest running oil I've ever used. Started my Accord after sitting all night (running PPHM 10W30), temperature outside was 4F (yes FOUR degrees Fahrenheit). Not a single noise, nothing. Started right up, smooth and silent, purring like a happy kitten:D
 
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Wow, these are some pretty in-depth responses!

I think we put Sean and the Pennzoil/SOPUS to the task on some of these questions, and I don't think the team was expecting such a hard deviation from what they were expecting to answer on decreased driving habits due to the pandemic.

Definitely cleared up my concerns on the line of products.
 
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*With respect to wear and cleanliness, we know no other leading motor oil provides better wear protection¹ than Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage, and no other leading high mileage motor oil provides better protection from friction² either.
¹Based on Sequence IVA wear test using SAE 5W-30.
²Based on Sequence IVA wear test using SAE 5W-30.*

So this would indicate that PPHM is Pennzoil's cream of the crop? I will say this, it's the smoothest running oil I've ever used. Started my Accord after sitting all night (running PPHM 10W30), temperature outside was 4F (yes FOUR degrees Fahrenheit). Not a single noise, nothing. Started right up, smooth and silent, purring like a happy kitten:D

And I thought Pennzoil Ultra Platinum was the “cream of the crop” in their lineup.
 
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