Chris Castanien – Base Stock Logistics as We Move to a Low Viscosity Engine Oil World


It is well documented that light duty and even heavy duty OEMs are investigating or rapidly moving to lower viscosity engine oils. The driver, of course, is the need for improved fuel economy. While different markets are moving in different ways, we are seeing an undeniable shift away from 10W, down to 5W and further to 0W engine oils. This market force creates demand for new base stocks and has serious effects upon lubricant blenders, marketers as well as additive companies. This presentation intends to look at the logistics of base oil blending plant operations as OEMs introduce new lower viscosity engine oil specs creating new demand and supply needs, while still servicing the vast majority of vehicles in the car park that do not require, or want to pay for, these premium fluids. Meeting both needs while providing broad legacy OEM support is likely to prove very challenge with limited tankage and limited qualified base oil slates.


Chris Castanien received his B.S. in Control Systems Engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1982. He received his BMW from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1989 and is a registered Professional Engineer in Mechanical Engineering. He joined Neste as Technical Service Manager, Americas in 2014 where he supports the Base Oils and Renewable Products groups. Prior to Neste, Chris held many key positions at Lubrizol for 25 years, including Global Mechanical Testing Manager, and 10 years as the Industry and OEM Liaison for Engine Oil Additives. Before joining Lubrizol, Chris was an officer aboard a nuclear submarine in the United States Navy. He is a member of SAE, ASTM, and participates as a leading member of the American Petroleum Institute committees and other industry bodies.

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