Industry News

Shell to cease Base Oil manufacturing at Martinez Lubricants plant

Published on 2003-02-11. Author : SpecialChem


Shell Oil Products US announced that it will cease the manufacture of naphthenic base oils at its Martinez, CA lubricants plant effective September 1, 2003. The Martinez-based asphalt plant will continue operation. Shell's Martinez refinery and chemical operations will not be affected by this closure.

The lubricants plant produces approximately 4,500 barrels per day of naphthenic base oils that support electrical oil, rubber extender, adhesive, lubricant additive and other process oil and base oil customers. These customers include Shell affiliates, original equipment manufacturers, compound blenders, distributors and brokers.

The Martinez lubes workforce consists of 96 employees. It is expected that the majority will be absorbed into other Shell operations. Local management is developing a plan to transition out of the lubes operation while accommodating the individuals who serve the facility.

"Martinez Lubricants has been a part of the Shell Martinez community since 1916," said Aamir Farid, General Manager of Shell's Bay Valley Complex, which includes refineries in Martinez and Bakersfield. "Shell's lubricants employees have made a significant difference, not only in manufacturing high quality products, but also in representing the Shell brand proudly over this long period."

Naphthenic base oil sales from Martinez have suffered from poor margins and flat to declining sales in recent years, and the trend is projected to continue. The recent announcement to cease manufacturing naphthenic base oils at the Shell Deer Park (Texas) lubricants plant also affected the decision to cease operation.

"Customer notifications have begun and Shell will continue to manufacture the full slate of products from the Martinez lubricants plant until the closure date. Shell then will supply remaining inventories on a fair and equitable basis, asking customers to order products based on historical monthly purchases," said Farid. "During this transition, we will work with our customers and make all reasonable efforts to meet customers' needs."

Source: Shell

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