Mystique of Pennsylvania Oil

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3,635
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St. Charles County, Missouri
[Roll Eyes] I addressed this, primarily to Johnny, back in the dino. thread. It got lost in the drift. Still curious as to whether there is such a thing as "Pennsylvania oil" anymore. Especially since PZ/QS moved to Texas... Original Post: I may have posted something similar before, but how does PZ/QS relate to the old mystique of "Pennsylvania" oils. This seems to have had both positive and negative ramifications. When I was a kid in South Dakota in the fifties, we were always taught that Pennsylvania oils were superior in lubricating ability. I've also heard the bit about Quaker State (especially) plugging things up because of high paraffin. Are there any such things as "Pennsylvania" oils anymore? I imagine your base stocks come from a wide variety of places since the corporation is now Texas based.
 
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119
Location
Northwestern PA
All of our lock and dam equipment 1930,s era, has brass lube data plates(yes we keep them shined). Specify use "Only Pennsylvania lubricants." With Kendall gone ,in use in name only there is none. We use LE with good results. Did penn oil have a longer molecule chain and resist shear? Up near Oil City, Pennzoil has a few oli wells, in fact the countrys oldest in use McClintock no.1. Lots of old wooden tanks and old wells and sucker rods left abandon in the woods in the hills around the Allegheny River.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
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21,597
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Iowegia - USA
In "Discovery!" a history of oil exploration, the author recounts how Penss. Oil had a high lubricity. That was important before "cracked" or refined petroleum was separated into its various components. The author also says that there were oil wells in Kansas (near Chanute) and some in Oklahoma that yielded 60% herosene and 20% gasoline as it came out of the well, and highly volatile! They theorized there was "cracking" going on due to the heat in these wells.
 
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14,013
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Retired | Wausau, WI
At one time the Penn oils had a natrually higher VI than other oils and this made for some good base stock. The old myth about wax in oil (Quaker State, Pennzoil, Kendall) started way back in the Model T days. That oil is no good, it has wax in it. The truth is, all dino oils are made from pariffin base crude oil because it has a higher natural VI. Now with the new technology of hydrocracking (Group II, Group II+, and even the Group III's) you can make good base stock out of almost any crude oil. There are still some speciality lubricants made from Penn crude, but very little. Any oil fanatic should pay a visit to Oil City, PA. It is a wealth of history. Arnold is still a good spokesman. [ July 03, 2002, 09:54 PM: Message edited by: Johnny ]
 

MolaKule

Staff member
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21,597
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Iowegia - USA
In my view, the mythical mystique was fostered by a good golfer. In another post I said, "Marketing gives rise to perception."
 
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2,724
Location
Herndon, Virginia
Johnny! Hey ya! Speaking of Pa., I just OCI'd with some of your beloved Quaker State 4x4 Torque-power, in 5W20 of course! They were out of PP on the 2-4-1 deal, so being ever-mindful of your pension, I stayed in-brand and bought the Torque-Power! Happy New Year! Nice seeing your post!
 
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8,467
Location
Colorado
At one time there was some 3 billion barrels of oil in those fields. 1 billion barrels were removed from the ground and it is now a lot harder to get any oil out of those fields even though 2 billion barrels are still there. Some oil is still coming from those fileds but very little compared to other fields. And yet a lot of people still believe that all Pennzoil and Quaker State oil comes from those fields and that there is a lot of wax in Pennzoil and Quaker State oil that causes sludge. In the refining process as much wax as possible is removed. Like Johnny says all motor oil from crude oil has a parrifin base. The crude oil that is used today for Pennzoil oil may come mostly from the Middle East for all we know. It could come from anywhere in the world that there is crdue oil. The same with Valvoline, Castrol, Chevron, Halvoline, etc.
 
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2,724
Location
Herndon, Virginia
Quote:
At one time there was some 3 billion barrels of oil in those fields. 1 billion barrels were removed from the ground and it is now a lot harder to get any oil out of those fields even though 2 billion barrels are still there. Some oil is still coming from those fileds but very little compared to other fields. And yet a lot of people still believe that all Pennzoil and Quaker State oil comes from those fields and that there is a lot of wax in Pennzoil and Quaker State oil that causes sludge. In the refining process as much wax as possible is removed. Like Johnny says all motor oil from crude oil has a parrifin base. The crude oil that is used today for Pennzoil oil may come mostly from the Middle East for all we know. It could come from anywhere in the world that there is crdue oil. The same with Valvoline, Castrol, Chevron, Halvoline, etc.
Don't forget Mobil 1!!! Glorified Dino, just like all the rest.. Or worse, I'm guessing worse. And noisy.. Ooops, except it costs much more than all the rest, like, TWICE as much as PP on the 2-4-1..
 
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1,304
Location
Kankakee, IL
I remember reading something a while back that there were 2 basic categories of Crude. Alsphaltic and Parrafin based crude. Most of the crude in the world is actually a 3rd category which is a hybrid of the two. Penn. crude was Paraffin based or WAX. Someone else had the Asphalt. Anyway once you refine it today you have a highly refined product that little resembles from whence it came. Back in the day Penn Crude being a Paraffin based had superior lubricating qualities but also a wax/sludge problem. No longer and issue/
 
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8,467
Location
Colorado
Paraffin does not mean wax. In the refining of crude oil as much wax is removed as possible. There may have been a time in the past when some motor oils had a lot of wax because there was not as much refining and depending on where the oil came from. If you compared just the actual oil in various motor oils, such as Pennzoil, Valvoline, Chevron, etc., there probably would not be too much difference between the oils (we are comparing conventional oils remember). The difference would be in the additives. It has probably been a very long time since much if any Pennzoil and Quaker State oil actually came from the Penn oil fields. The crude oil for Pennzoil and Quaker State may be coming from the gulf region or the Middle East for all we know. I met a guy recently who worked in the oil exploration business in Colorado. He claimed that crude oil in Colorado has a lot of wax. I don't know if that is correct or not but even if it is true, if any of that Colorado crude oil is refined into motor oil as much wax as possible will be removed.
 
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1,304
Location
Kankakee, IL
Back in the day not much refining done today OIL is a highly refined product. But that is where the problems came from. Today we are almost merely comparing add packs but back then when few additive were used at all we compared oil. It had pluses and minuses. Yes today refined motor oil before additives is CLEAR but back then still black a lot of the times. Times change, old myths a prejudices die hard. Modern 80's up oil is a very different animal than 60's and before. It has been an evolution and that basically now myth that was once fact passed down by grandpa to your dad to you is basically hogwash. Does not mean you could get him to put Pennzoil in is pride and joy. It was true for him a long time whether or not it has validity anymore is proven it does not. So the paraffin wax is gone once refined, true enough but once upon a time the refining process was much more simple and less thorough.
 
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2,435
Location
Mizzou-land
I thought the following post may be useful here. labman wrote in post #257055 - 07/04/04 03:56 PM: "...This question comes up every week or 2. Paraffin has several meanings. Chemically it means 'without affinity,' meaning 'unreactive,' and is applied to the alkanes which are a wide range of similar compounds differing only in the number of carbons. They start with methane in natural gas, having 1 carbon and range up to the thousands of carbons in polyethylene. Another meaning is the wax a certain range of molecular weights form. It is more the English that use it for certain liquids used as fuel. Between the wax and the liquid fuel is a range that has good lubricating qualities and is very chemically stable short of a flame. In the early days, such liquids could easily be distilled from the crude oil found in Pennsylvania. Depending on the care with distillation some of the wax would be present too. A far bigger problem then was the unsaturated material that when exposed to heat, oxygen, and moisture would polymerize into sludge. Today much of the crude oil is asphaltic based. It is much harder to obtain good base stock from such crudes, however modern refining methods can deliver high quality base stocks one way or another. So a base stock that is a paraffin, can have very little material that should have gone into candles. Its viscosity does go down as the temperature goes up, and more so than most other materials. Modern oils contain pour point depressants and viscosity index improvers. The VI improvers tend to be less shear stable and do wear out leading to thinning out of grade. The synthetic oils requires less additives, but still eventually become depleted and contaminated enough to require replacing. Chemically, the PAO's are alkanes and could be referred to as paraffins. So condemning an oil for containing paraffins is nonsense. All the quality dinos and all but the pure ester based synthetics contain them. "
 
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40,152
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Great Lakes
Quote:
Ooops, except it costs much more than all the rest, like, TWICE as much as PP on the 2-4-1..
Where are you guys finding PP for $3/quart? At my local AZ, both M1 and PP are about $6/quart.
 
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348
Location
Northern VA, USA
Quote:
Quote:
Ooops, except it costs much more than all the rest, like, TWICE as much as PP on the 2-4-1..
Where are you guys finding PP for $3/quart? At my local AZ, both M1 and PP are about $6/quart.
Advance Auto has PP on a buy one get one free sale now - regular price of about $5.80, so about $2.90/quart sale price. Just today stocked up on some 5w20 and 5w30.
 
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165
Location
Georgia
Ummm... No. My family is from Bradford PA, and we used to own several drilling rigs and were "big" in the industry at that time. The family lost them in the depression. True Pennsylvania crude is NAPTHENIC base oil. It had a green tinge to it when I was growing up which signified to us (at that time) it was a true Pennsylvania crude based oil of better quality. For years, this base oil was specified in the refrigeration industry BECAUSE of its Napthenic base. WAX based oils floc out in refrigeration systems at the expansion device. I believe the bad "urban legends" of Pennzoil having wax in them, have been around since Pennzoil starting being produced by a Texas-based company who bought them. Although there is still that color, I do not believe the oil is of Pennsylvania origin or Napthenic based any more. Indeed, it the reason why my father adn grandfather stopped using Pennzoil back "when". The old Kendall facility is still there at the north end of town and is still ONLY refining Pennsylvania-origin crude.
 
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2,724
Location
Herndon, Virginia
That goes for the QuakerState full sythetic, too. Advanced had it for 5.72 on the 2-4-1. EweTho mentioned "Yes today refined motor oil before additives is CLEAR but back then still black a lot of the times." So additives change the appearance. However, Pennzoil Platinum is much more toward clear yellow than the Quaker State 4x4 TorquePower syn I just OCI'd with, which was almost brown even in the clear bottle. Do they color the oil to achieve a certain "look"? It's even a little brown on the dipstick, and Pennzoil dino was very yellow when new.
 
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40,152
Location
Great Lakes
Quote:
Advance Auto has PP on a buy one get one free sale now - regular price of about $5.80, so about $2.90/quart sale price.
Thanks. Just picked up 8 quarts of 10w-30.
 
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