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ExxonMobil Issues First-of-its-kind Base Stocks Industry Pulse Report: Decision Makers Weigh in on Trends, Industry Shifts

  • Group II base oils are viewed as “heart of the market,” while Group I continues to provide unique benefits to end-users
  • Sixty-one percent of decision makers believe the current API base oil groups are sufficient
  • Eighty percent believe the base oil industry can meet the evolving challenges

Spring, Texas – ExxonMobil announced today it has published its inaugural, first-of-its-kind report on the global base oil industry, titled, ExxonMobil Basestocks 2018 Industry Pulse Report, in partnership with KRC Research, a global research consultancy. Based on viewpoints from hundreds of decision makers in the industry, the report uncovers insights into the ever-evolving market. The report is designed to help pinpoint industry drivers, evaluate the base oil landscape and explore current trends.

“We found the insights from the ExxonMobil Basestocks 2018 Industry Pulse Report particularly informative and because of this, we decided to share this broadly, in an aim to help educate the industry for the changes the future may bring,” said Ted Walko, Global Basestocks and Specialties Marketing Manager at ExxonMobil.

Group II Represents the Heart of the Market

The ExxonMobil Basestocks 2018 Industry Pulse Report revealed that nearly 75 percent of base oil decision makers view Group II base oils as the “heart” of the market. In addition, the report showed that:

  • Group II base oils are seen as the most important to the automotive (34 percent), marine (31 percent), industrial (37 percent) and commercial vehicle (41 percent) industries.
  • While base oil decision makers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are least likely to say that Group II base oils are the heart of the market (60 percent), more than half (52 percent) said they would likely transition away from Group I and/or Group III base oils if they had access to a Group II manufacturer.

“We pride ourselves on having a strong lens into the industry and these results substantiate why we are committed to investing in expanded Group II supply through our three, strategically located refineries in Baytown, Texas; Jurong, Singapore; and Rotterdam, Netherlands,” Walko added.

Group I Proves to Remain Beneficial Despite Overall Decline

One-third of base oil decision makers said that while demand for Group I base oils has decreased at the highest rate, when compared to other base oil groups, they still see its importance:

  • Seventy-two percent admit the decline in Group I demand has had a significant impact on the industry.
  • Decision makers ranked Group I’s top three benefits with viscosity (54 percent) in the top spot, closely followed by its solvency (49 percent) and affordability (46 percent).

“We recognize that Group II is not a perfect fit for all applications and this report affirmed our confidence in Group I and the value it will continue to play in the base oil industry,” Walko explained.

Majority Says API Standards are Sufficient

According to the report, a majority believe the current API standards are sufficient for formulating and manufacturing engine oil:

  • Sixty-one percent of decision makers concurred, and slightly more than one-quarter (27 percent) disagreed, calling for an adjustment now.
  • Some believe (12 percent) that the standards should be adjusted within the next 10 years.

Base Oil Industry Can Keep up with Automotive Changes

The survey found that while more than three-fourths (77 percent) are concerned about the increased implementation of fuel economy and emissions regulations, they feel confident that the base oil industry will keep up:

  • Eighty percent asserted their confidence in the base oil industry’s ability to keep up with evolving regulations.
  • Two-thirds believe that Group II or Group III base oils can best handle an increase in more stringent fuel economy and emissions regulations.

For more industry insights, please download the full report here.


About the ExxonMobil Basestocks 2018 Industry Pulse Report

The ExxonMobil Basestocks 2018 Industry Pulse Report surveyed more than 300 base oil decision makers from the following industries: additive manufacturers, lubricant manufacturers, industry associations and equipment manufacturers. The survey required an even split of at least 100 respondents from APAC, the Americas, and EMEA to ensure results encompassed a global perspective. The survey was also translated from English to Spanish, French, German and Standard Mandarin, as needed.

About ExxonMobil Basestocks

Building on its long tradition of technology leadership with its CORETM Group I slate, ExxonMobil continues to enhance the EHCTM product line to enable excellence for its customers. To this end, ExxonMobil technical experts designed the overall EHC product slate to meet performance requirements of a wide range of engine oil grades and other finished lubricant applications. The EHC Group II slate also allows customers to take advantage of industry base oil interchange and viscosity grade read-across guidelines to reduce formulation costs for many engine oil formulations.

For more information about product supply, visit ExxonMobil Basestocks. For key insights into the industry, along with exclusive updates on our global refinery expansion projects, subscribe to our quarterly newsletter today.

About KRC Research

KRC Research is a global full-service nonpartisan opinion research and strategy firm. A unit of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), KRC Research offers the quality and custom service of a small firm with the reach of a global organization. For over 30 years, KRC Research has worked on behalf of corporations, governments, not-for-profits and the communications firms that represent them. Staffed with multidisciplinary research professionals, KRC combines sophisticated research tools with real-world communications experience. For more information, visit:

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