Base Oils- Product Quality and Global Profitability

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If you already know the difference between Group I, Group II and Group III base oils, but aren’t sure of their product applications or key global suppliers, then Base Oils II can provide that understanding and background. A complication in the base oil world is the vast difference in supply quality between Europe, Asia, North America, the Middle East, and other regions. Additionally, each region and each type of manufacturing has a different set of manufacturing economics. The base oils market currently faces an imbalance between the types of base oils refined versus types of base oils grades required for finished lubricants. Understanding the different factors causing this imbalance of supply and demand will help clarify the base oils market situation. Knowledge of industry drivers for next generation finished lubricants requirements, along with technical details around base oil viscosity – volatility relationships, will give you a better understanding of what the future holds.

Sign up for the Base Oils II- Product Quality and Global Profitability training course to get a technical view of the qualities and measurements that describe base oils, and why they are necessary, as well as a look at various suppliers and qualities around the world.

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Course Agenda


09.00 Welcome Safety & housekeeping announcements 

09.05 I. Refresher: Key concepts from Base Oils I

  • Technology and terminology
  • Naming conventions and viscosity labels
  • Key base oil properties and where they’re controlled
  • API Groups: the detailed definitions


10.00 II. Volatility Requirements – A Game Changer 

  • The technical details of viscosity index (VI)
  • Volatility – another property to know about
  • VI – Volatility – Viscosity relationships



11.00 III. Viscosity & Engine Oils: an overview

  • Viscosity measurement under different conditions
  • Putting it together: SAE J-300 Engine Oils
  • Why engine oils matter to all other base oil sectors


12.00 IV. Global Variations in Base Oils Quality 

  • Major Supplier Comparisons: Group I, II, III qualities
  • Regional differences and rationale
  • GTL and PAO: quality nirvana (for some applications)

12.30 LUNCH/Q&A

13.30 V. Base Oil Refinery Profitability

  • Fuels versus lubes: who pays for what?
  • By-products from base oil plants
  • Example Group I vs Group II vs Group III profitability

14.15 VI. Base Oil Pricing Mechanisms 

  • Mechanisms – what sets base oil price?
  • Finished lubricant drivers impacting base oil price
  • Going forward: tiered pricing


15.30 VII. Base Oil Forecasting Methodology 

  • Current global supply and demand
  • Factors to consider when doing a base oil forecast
  • Example: A simplified 2025 base oil forecast

16.15 VIII. Trends: Oversupply Survival 

  • Unintended consequences of hydroprocessing – oversupply and shortfalls
  • New survival schemes required

16.45 Course evaluations & feedback 

17.00 End of programme 

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Amy Claxton, P.E. is a registered professional Chemical Engineer and owns a consulting company called My Energy, specializing in consulting and training for the Base Oils, Waxes, and GTL industries. Her clients include publicly traded and privately held oil, gas, lube and wax companies, as well as law firms, venture capital firms, and other energy consulting companies. With over thirty years of experience in the refining industry, her expertise includes raw materials selection; manufacturing processes and economics; global supply and demand; and intellectual property analysis and support.

Prior to starting her own company in 2001, Ms. Claxton worked for Dow Chemical, Exxon, and ExxonMobil. Her assignments included plant engineering and managerial positions in chemical plants and refinery fuels, lube base oil, and wax units. She managed technical services for Exxon’s 500,000 barrel per day refinery in Baytown, Texas, with departmental oversight of 100 employees including chemical, mechanical, civil and environmental engineers.

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Who should attend?

  • New and experienced base oil marketing and sales staff, and those in support functions such as supply, accounting, planning and logistics
  • New and experienced finished lubricant buyers and sellers
  • Base oil refiners, additive suppliers, finished lubricant formulators and other technical staff who want to broaden their knowledge of base oil product qualities and the overall base oil industry
  • Senior oil industry executives who are new to base oils or finished lubricants
  • Personnel in equity firms in the energy sector who are involved in base oil or finished lubricant evaluations

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Training course fees

If you require fees information, please contact us via

In-House Training

ICIS works alongside our clients to create bespoke training courses that mould our expertise and your specific needs. We will pinpoint the current expertise of your employees, areas for improvement, and your business goals, and develop a training course that will bring tangible benefits to your business.

Our custom training courses are delivered as interactive workshops, focusing on the products, concepts and issues that are most relevant and beneficial to you.

  • Save money on transportation and accommodation, with training at a convenient location
  • Flexibility – you determine the length and duration of the sessions
  • Interactive workshops with hands-on exercises, to reinforce key skills, techniques and concepts
  • Take away the course materials, presentations and background information for future reference

To enquire about in-house training for this course, please click here and a member of our team will get back to you.

Schedule of upcoming courses



The 24th ICIS World Base Oils & Lubricants Conference

17th February 202021st February 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

What customers say about this course?

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Procurement Manager in a specialty chemicals company