Shell Lubricants announced recently the arrival of its first shipment of gas-to-liquid (GTL) base oil at the Port of Houston. The product, the first from the Qatar-based Pearl GTL plant to reach the Americas, will be stored at a hub in Houston and routed to Shell Lubricants' GTL-enabled blending facilities throughout the United States.
Once the Pearl GTL plant starts operating at full capacity, it will be one of the world's largest sources of lubricant base oils with the capacity to produce about 30,000 barrels per day, enough to fill 225 million cars per year.
Shell Lubricants will use Pearl GTL base oil, high quality Group III base oil, in the manufacture of its premium motor oils. Group III base oils are the foundation for formulating next-generation oils that address needs for improved energy efficiency, longer equipment life and reduced maintenance costs.
Compared to typical base oils, which are refined from crude oil, GTL base oils represent an alternative starting point for the manufacture of finished lubricants. Within the range of commercially available base oils, Group III oils have high viscosity index, low volatility and good low-temperature fluidity and are often used to make synthetic motor oils.
Lisa Davis, president, Shell Commercial Fuels and Lubricants, Americas said, "This new base oil is another clear example of Shell Lubricants' commitment to using technology and innovation to meet the growing demand for premium motor oils."