Chevron starts up new US Gulf base oils plant

Chevron has begun commercial production of premium base oils from a newly-constructed manufacturing facility at the company's refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi, officials said on Monday.

Base oils produced at Pascagoula will add to capacity from the company's refinery in Richmond, California and a joint venture facility in Yeosu, Korea, approximately doubling Chevron's production capacity and positioning it to be the world's largest producer of premium base oil. 

"Lubricants are a high growth business supporting economic development worldwide," said Mike Wirth, executive vice president for Chevron downstream and chemicals business. "The addition of the Pascagoula plant to Chevron's base oil network enhances Chevron's reputation as a reliable and flexible base oil supplier globally." 

Base oils from the new facility will supply customers in the US East, Europe and Latin America, with Richmond continuing to supply the US West, and both Richmond and Yeosu supplying Asia. 

The facility is designed to manufacture 25,000 bpd of premium base oil, helping countries around the world meet increasingly strict regulatory requirements and higher performance standards for lubricants. 

Premium base oil is the main ingredient in the production of top-tier motor oils that help improve fuel economy, lower tail-pipe emissions and extend the time between oil changes. Base oils are also used to make lubricants and greases for machinery and equipment in the commercial and industrial sectors. 

The base oil facility uses Chevron's proprietary ISODEWAXING technology invented in 1993. The technology results in higher yields and enables a broader range of crude oil to be used in the manufacturing process. 

Over half of the world's premium base oil is manufactured with this technology through licensing agreements with Chevron, according to company officials.

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