Chevron starts U.S. production of NEXBASE 3043 Group III base oil
Photo courtesy of Chevron Product Company

Chevron starts U.S. production of NEXBASE 3043 Group III base oil

Chevron Product Company, a division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc., announced the start of the first U.S. commercial production of NEXBASE 3043 base oil at its base oil plant in Richmond, California, this month. 

With a typical viscosity index of 122 and Noack volatility of 14.2, NEXBASE 3043 is suitable for use in formulating high-quality 5W/X and 10W/X engine oils. NEXBASE 3043 conforms with API/ATIEL Base Stock Group III. It is used also in compressor and hydraulic oil formulations as well as in gear and circulation oils.

Richmond becomes the third plant producing NEXBASE 3043 and compliments NEXBASE 3060 which has been produced in Richmond since 2019. 

With this added capacity, Chevron becomes the first Group III manufacturer to have a qualified global slate of Group III base oils produced on three different continents—North America, Europe and Asia. All locations produce NEXBASE 3043 to the same manufacturing specifications and will be part of the NEXBASE global slate. 

All three plants utilize Chevron’s patented ISODEWAXING technology, which is marketed and licensed by Chevron Lummus Global (CLG).  Chevron was the first company to introduce an all-hydroprocessing Group II and Group III technology to the market. Since 2010, more than 75% of refiners adding new premium base oil capacity, that was competitively bid, have chosen Chevron’s technology.  

“Adding NEXBASE Group III to our premium base oil portfolio was a natural fit,” said Alicia Logan, general manager, Base Oils. “In 1997, Neste licensed Chevron’s ISODEWAXING technology and became the first Group III producer in Europe. In 2011, Chevron’s technology was licensed to a second refinery operated by Bapco in Sitra, Bahrain.  The plant was specifically designed to produce base oils with the same manufacturing specs as the Neste refinery in Porvoo, making Neste the first company to have multiple plants producing fungible Group III base oils.  While Neste has shifted its focus away from marketing base oils, Chevron has a long history of leveraging its base oil refining expertise to produce and deliver to the market the right products at the right time in support of evolving premium base oil demand. The markets for PCMO and, to a lesser extent, HDMO, are moving to lower viscosity oils to improve fuel economy and extend oil drains. NEXBASE 3043 will continue to help blenders move to the next level of specifications.” 

“This is particularly important for customers in North America who have mainly been relying on imported Group III from Asia and the Middle East to meet tightening specs. NEXBASE 3043 will be available for lifting from both the USWC [U.S. West Coast] and the USGC [U.S. Gulf Coast] which will help them optimize supply logistics and costs,” said Luyen Vo, senior manager, Global Technology Sales & Business Development, Base Oils.

Worldwide, Chevron supplies approved Group II and Group III base oils that are fully interchangeable from five manufacturing facilities and 17 hubs across the globe.