With more than 40 years in the refining industry – and the experience of successes and failures along the way – Ergon has learned some important lessons about ensuring security of supply. You might want to ask your supplier these questions we regularly ask of ourselves as we measure the success of our ongoing commitment to providing needed chemistry for our customers. 

Crude oil comes from all over the world. Each location produces a crude as unique as the variety of places it is found. Refiners, defined by their ability to identify and process specialty crudes, are equally unique. Crude expertise, coupled with an intense focus and continued investment, determines a base oil refiner’s potential to deliver your quality products. 

 

It is our hope that sharing these questions will give you a tool to evaluate your base oil security of supply. And should you find that you are unsure about supply in the future, we would welcome an opportunity to talk with you about what makes Ergon’s security your security. 

Is my base oil supplier an expert in specialty crudes?

Why this matters:

Only about 1% of the world’s crude is refined into a base oil. 

 

Naphthenics make up 5% of the world’s crudes, with 1% being wax-free naphthenics.

 

All crudes have a life cycle and fields are constantly in a state of decline. As crude fields age, their chemistry can also change.

What you need to hear from your supplier: 

That they have a raw material evaluation program that can adapt quickly and accurately to test a diverse collection of crudes, no matter their location size or where they are located.

 

That they have a multidisciplinary team with expertise all the way from the crude field to technical partnerships with customers.  

See Ergon's Answer >>

Ergon's Answer:

Ergon has a multidisciplinary team that works nonstop all the way from the field to partnerships with our customers. This expert raw material team is in the field identifying potential specialty crudes, extensively testing and characterizing crudes through our agile in-house raw material program, processing and running the select crudes yielding your quality base oils. Ergon has the ability to turn around in just two weeks complex and extensive crude evaluations that would take six months externally.

 

Our raw material team and process allows us to evaluate the crudes that best fit our refinery in order to produce your specialty base oils.

Are they making refinery investments to ensure they are well prepared for the future?

Why this matters:

Shifts in crude availability and regulations on products have led to a significant number of refinery closures globally, with more on the horizon. The mixture of refineries has changed as well, due to the fact that the sustainability of a refinery is linked to the crude story. 

What you need to hear from your supplier: 

That they have a consistent track record of investing in capital projects that go beyond turnarounds and maintenance.

 

See Ergon's Answer >>

Ergon's Answer:

Ergon’s track record of reinvesting over the last 10 to 15 years has helped us remain reliable and positioned us well to take advantage of the shifting crude and regulatory landscape.

Is my base oil supplier invested in logistics infrastructure that allows them sufficient crude access?

Why this matters:

Historically, refiners were built to capitalize on nearby crude fields. As those fields declined, refiners have been forced to make additional investments to source crude from farther away. 

What you need to hear from your supplier: 

That they have a proven logistics network giving them access to enough crudes of the right chemistry and the ability to balance declines.

See Ergon's Answer >>

Ergon's Answer:

Ergon leverages an integrated mid-steam company that sources both domestic and globally available crudes. The company has crude purchasing, terminaling, trucking and barging assets to gather our specialty crudes.

Does my base oil supplier’s

investment strategy support their 10-20 year outlook on raw materials? 

Why this matters:

It takes both understanding and action to provide security. Crude disruptions and crude changes are very capital intensive and must be planned many years in advance. When not planned properly, the result is disruptive and can result in refinery closures.

What you need to hear from your supplier: 

That they can offer a clear link between their investment strategy and their crude outlook. 

See Ergon's Answer >>

Ergon's Answer:

Crude fields will continue to decline and crudes will be excluded based on logistics, processing traits, yield structure and availability. Refineries will be forced to process crude options that previously had not been optimal. Ergon has continually invested to stay ahead of the curve and maintain raw material flexibility and security.

Download Ergon's complete Security of Supply story.