Base lubricating oils are the main component in lubricants for motor vehicles and a wide range of other applications. These base oils or ‘base stocks’ are defined by their quality and fall into either Group I, the lowest quality, Group II, a mid-range base stock, or Group III, the highest quality that can be produced from minerals. Due to the refining process, Group III base oils are also known as synthetic base oils.
Over the last decade there has been a steady increase in the use of Group III lubricating oils in PCMO’s. The quality of this grade of base stocks allows blenders to create motor oils that are specifically engineered to meet automakers’ specifications for performance and durability. According to the 2020-2021 Lubes N’ Greases Factbook, the daily global demand for Group III base oils is greater than 84,000 barrels per day. In North America, the demand for Group III base oil is approximately 20,000 barrels per day and growing. However, only about 4,800 barrels per day are produced in North America, with the balance imported from Asia and the Middle East at a high cost. Gen III’s USGC facility will contribute valuable and secure onshore production capacity to the North American Group III market, providing lubricant blenders with a better alternative to foreign imports.