How much differentiation is there within base oils of the same group?

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Jun 3, 2021
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I read all the time how so and so company has higher quality base oils than another. My question is, with the Group categories, how much of a range in quality is there between Group II base oils from XOM versus Group II base oils from Shell, etc, etc. Is there really even a difference as long as you're comparing apples to apples?
 
I read all the time how so and so company has higher quality base oils than another. My question is, with the Group categories, how much of a range in quality is there between Group II base oils from XOM versus Group II base oils from Shell, etc, etc. Is there really even a difference as long as you're comparing apples to apples?
There are Groups for a reason.
 
That doesn't answer my question. Are multiple Group II or Group III oils side by side essentially identical to one another?

No, they are not identical , are you looking for the best oil, or are you looking for the best oil at the cheapest price? The oil companies are going to do there marketing thing 2 get you 2 buy there oil. If you really want to compare certain oils you can look at either there SDS or see if there is a VOA here on this board.

Here is my take, if you are doing OCI's of 3000 to 5000 miles on a car that you will only keep for 5 to 10 years, then use whatever oil you want. But if you really want to keep your car for a long time then I would look at a Euro Oil or use 1 of the oils from HPL.

In order to answer your question, alot of money would need to be spent with no real cost benefit.
 
No, they are not identical , are you looking for the best oil, or are you looking for the best oil at the cheapest price? The oil companies are going to do there marketing thing 2 get you 2 buy there oil. If you really want to compare certain oils you can look at either there SDS or see if there is a VOA here on this board.

Here is my take, if you are doing OCI's of 3000 to 5000 miles on a car that you will only keep for 5 to 10 years, then use whatever oil you want. But if you really want to keep your car for a long time then I would look at a Euro Oil or use 1 of the oils from HPL.

In order to answer your question, alot of money would need to be spent with no real cost benefit.
Just to clarify, I"m talking about base oils, not finished product.
 
To my best layman's knowledge, there are only a few companies who make base stocks, and sell them to "benders" such as Amsoil, Redline, Royal Purple, etc. Or am I way off?
 
My understanding is that XOM doesn't make GTL, they actually buy it from Shell.
I get these newsletters sent to my email:
 
I get these newsletters sent to my email:
I wonder if those plans fell through. I've been told by (reliable) members of this forum very recently that Mobil isn't in the GTL producing business themselves. Could be mistaken information though.
 
I wonder if those plans fell through. I've been told by (reliable) members of this forum very recently that Mobil isn't in the GTL producing business themselves. Could be mistaken information though.
That's a good question. I know there was some talk awhile back about M1 using GTL vs Visom vs Group 4/Group 5 mix base stocks. Afaik, XOM exclusively only uses their own base stocks.
 
That's a good question. I know there was some talk awhile back about M1 using GTL vs Visom vs Group 4/Group 5 mix base stocks.
Yup, M1 is confirmed more recently to contain GTL now. They also decreased the PAO in certain viscosities. Seems pretty obviously like cost cutting, though there's certainly nothing wrong with GTL. These types of conversations are when I've been told that Mobil buys their GTL from Shell. Maybe somebody can chime in.
 
Yup, M1 is confirmed more recently to contain GTL now. They also decreased the PAO in certain viscosities. Seems pretty obviously like cost cutting, though there's certainly nothing wrong with GTL. These types of conversations are when I've been told that Mobil buys their GTL from Shell. Maybe somebody can chime in.
M1 is definitely (imo) the best off the shelf oil. I'd actually put M1 against the most expensive boutiques as well.
 
I get these newsletters sent to my email:
You get 19-year old newsletters sent to your email? That sounds like spam… 🤣
 
There’s a fair bit. Especially as you get to a point a refinery needs turn around.

A typical variation will be +/- 5 points on the VI. So like in a group 2, 112-117 we’ll say hypothetically.

When turn around is needing to happen, you hypothetically might see 105-107.

A lot of the variation also happens depending on feed stocks. So GTL is going to be more consistent (by nature of the process.) Where as crude based oils will have more variability depending on the inbound feed stream through the refinery. This is dictated to by price / availability / season for crude. And how the refinery is over all tweaked.

You make this up in blending. As you’re not using just a straight cut of base oil while blending for an PCEO product. Especially a synthetic blend. So, the lab will get a CoA of each tanker load of base oil. They will enter the test results into the system. This will then, tell them what they need to blend to meet their specific requirements. Thus, the end user will see very little variation.

You see this variation more on straight cuts or super heavy blends. So your AW hydraulic oils, R&O oils, gear oils, etc. So you can go from a heavy AW32 to a light AW 32. It’s very noticeable in the heavier grades of product - your EP460 & 680, etc. that may even need to be hit with bright stock to make them heavy enough.
 
There’s a fair bit. Especially as you get to a point a refinery needs turn around.

A typical variation will be +/- 5 points on the VI. So like in a group 2, 112-117 we’ll say hypothetically.

When turn around is needing to happen, you hypothetically might see 105-107.

A lot of the variation also happens depending on feed stocks. So GTL is going to be more consistent (by nature of the process.) Where as crude based oils will have more variability depending on the inbound feed stream through the refinery. This is dictated to by price / availability / season for crude. And how the refinery is over all tweaked.

You make this up in blending. As you’re not using just a straight cut of base oil while blending for an PCEO product. Especially a synthetic blend. So, the lab will get a CoA of each tanker load of base oil. They will enter the test results into the system. This will then, tell them what they need to blend to meet their specific requirements. Thus, the end user will see very little variation.

You see this variation more on straight cuts or super heavy blends. So your AW hydraulic oils, R&O oils, gear oils, etc. So you can go from a heavy AW32 to a light AW 32. It’s very noticeable in the heavier grades of product - your EP460 & 680, etc. that may even need to be hit with bright stock to make them heavy enough.
Very good info sir. Do you foresee oil companies using more re refined base oils in the future or more of this being used for other industries as asphalt and hydraulic oils?

Thank You
 
There’s a fair bit. Especially as you get to a point a refinery needs turn around.

A typical variation will be +/- 5 points on the VI. So like in a group 2, 112-117 we’ll say hypothetically.

When turn around is needing to happen, you hypothetically might see 105-107.

A lot of the variation also happens depending on feed stocks. So GTL is going to be more consistent (by nature of the process.) Where as crude based oils will have more variability depending on the inbound feed stream through the refinery. This is dictated to by price / availability / season for crude. And how the refinery is over all tweaked.

You make this up in blending. As you’re not using just a straight cut of base oil while blending for an PCEO product. Especially a synthetic blend. So, the lab will get a CoA of each tanker load of base oil. They will enter the test results into the system. This will then, tell them what they need to blend to meet their specific requirements. Thus, the end user will see very little variation.

You see this variation more on straight cuts or super heavy blends. So your AW hydraulic oils, R&O oils, gear oils, etc. So you can go from a heavy AW32 to a light AW 32. It’s very noticeable in the heavier grades of product - your EP460 & 680, etc. that may even need to be hit with bright stock to make them heavy enough.


My step father was involved in many “ turn arounds” at the Amoco Yorktown refinery.

It was quite a deal according to him. He worked a lot of hours when they did them.
 
No, they are not identical , are you looking for the best oil, or are you looking for the best oil at the cheapest price? The oil companies are going to do there marketing thing 2 get you 2 buy there oil. If you really want to compare certain oils you can look at either there SDS or see if there is a VOA here on this board.

Here is my take, if you are doing OCI's of 3000 to 5000 miles on a car that you will only keep for 5 to 10 years, then use whatever oil you want. But if you really want to keep your car for a long time then I would look at a Euro Oil or use 1 of the oils from HPL.

In order to answer your question, alot of money would need to be spent with no real cost benefit.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
This is a very good post in my opinion.
 
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