Professional Training

Lubricants Refining and Manufacturing

3 days
3 days
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Course description

The lubricants business is a uniquely high value segment of the downstream. Base oil production (mineral and synthetic) and manufacturing of finished lubes products (formulation, blending, packing) are the key components of the lubes supply chain and they contribute substantially to the overall industry profitability. Markets and technologies are constantly changing and base oil suppliers and lubricant manufacturers and marketers must keep up in such a competitive environment. Alignment of marketing, technology and manufacturing strategies within a lubes business are essential. The businesses that succeed will be those whose employees understand the evolving technologies and seek out profit enhancing strategies, aligning their investments in technology and manufacturing with their product offerings.

This newly designed three day course will provide delegates with a comprehensive introduction to lubricant base oil refining and lubricant manufacturing, covering:

  • Lubricant base oil production technologies, operations, trade-offs and process economics for the main process stages.
  • The relative performance and commercial trade-offs for mineral, unconventional and synthetic base oils.
  • Principles of lubricant formulation, blending operations, packaging & distribution and their linkages to marking strategy.
  • Base oil markets, their dynamics and economics of the industry.
  • The key issues and trends that can be expected to shape the lubricants supply chain in the future .

The course will use a range of presentations, case studies, interactive exercises and discussions to enable delegates to understand the lubricants supply chain (from refinery to blending & distribution) and the potential impact of technical and economic trends on regional and global markets. Presentation material will be designed to be concise and impactful, recognising that participants will benefit most if they are engaged and involved throughout the three days.  Delegates will be able to identify where profitable opportunities might be found for their own companies and have confidence to make strategic business decisions.

What you will learn

  • How a lubricant base oil facility operates
  • Manufacturing techniques used by the more progressive lubricant base oil manufacturers
  • Principles, economics and flexibility of each major base oil processing technology
  • Latest developments and trends in base oil processing technology
  • Advantages and disadvantages of various base oil processing schemes
  • Strategies for optimising existing base oil facilities
  • Commercial and performance trends for lubricant baseoils
  • Developments and trends in lubricant blending, packaging, storage and distribution
  • Supply/demand balances and trends for base oils and lubricants on a global and regional basis
  • How competitive and environmental pressures are driving the industry

A basic knowledge of the lubricants business is assumed, but delegates are not expected to have prior experience of oil refining or lube manufacturing.

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  • Commercial, operations and marketing staff from refining organisations and from lubricants marketing organisations.
  • Technical and technical service lubricant staff.
  • Business planners, business development staff and economists having an interest in the lubricants supply chain.
  • Experienced oil industry managers who are new to the lubricant business.
  • Professionals in organisations outside lubricants (eg government, investment banks, legal, trading houses, etc) who need to understand how the lubricants supply chain operates.


 Global base oil market

  • Base oil types and their relative advantages & disadvantages
  • Overview of production technologies
  • Global and regional supply and demand
  • Overview of lubricants industry economics
  • Key trends in base oil production

 Base oil refining

  • Chemical composition of crude oil, lube feedstocks and finished base oils
  • Influence of base oil types on the properties & performance of lubricant formulations
  • Principles and operation of the main process steps:
  • vacuum distillation
  • solvent deasphalting
  • solvent extraction
  • hydrofinishing and hydrotreating
  • hydrocracking
  • catalytic dewaxing and isomerisation processes
  • Trends in base oil refining and manufacturing technology
  • Comparative economics of mineral and hydroprocessing technologies

 Lubricants formulation and manufacturing

  • Formulation principles and testing procedures
  • Lubricant additives
  • Raw materials’ storage and handling
  • Blending operations
  • Packaging, storage and distribution of finished lubricants
  • Quality assurance

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