Understanding the Global Lubricants Business - Regional Markets, Economic Issues and Profitability - LB1 

CPE Credits Awarded: 24
Categories: Oil Industry, Lubricants

Course Date Duration Venue Price Registration Deadline Register
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The lubricants business is a uniquely high profit segment of the downstream. There are many opportunities for existing players to grow their businesses and profits and for new entrants to join, but it is a highly competitive business environment. Traditional models of generating revenue through product sales are gradually being eroded, and companies need to be more innovative about creating new revenue streams. The businesses that succeed will be those whose employees understand their markets and customers in depth, develop a clear strategy, and execute it effectively and consistently.

This newly designed three day course will provide delegates with a comprehensive overview of the global lubricants business:

  • The course is an introduction to the worldwide lubricants business: market structures, participants, distribution channels, dynamics & trends, economics.
  • The course will focus on automotive (consumer and commercial) and industrial lubricants – and examine customer and distribution channel differences between mature and developing markets.
  • Marine and aviation lubricants markets will also be covered, but in less detail.
  • End market applications and quality issues for the major lubricants products will be covered.
  • The entire lubricants supply chain from base oil refining through to end user marketing to a wide range of customers will be covered – including the value chain economics and how profit is distributed across different sectors of the industry.
  • There will be a strong emphasis on understanding both sides of the market: the demand side of lubricants markets (both consumer (B2C) and business lubricants (B2B) markets) and the supply side (base oil manufacturing), as well as how pricing and supply economics link the two sides.

The course will use a range of presentations, case studies, interactive exercises and discussions to enable delegates to understand how the lubricants business works and the potential impact of technical and economic trends on regional and global markets. Presentation material will be designed to be concise and impactful, recognising that participants will benefit most if they are engaged and involved throughout the three days. Delegates will be able to identify where profitable opportunities can be found for their own companies and have confidence to make strategic business decisions.


Upon completion of this course your employees will understand:

  • Understand how the global lubricants business works: for the structure of different regional and lubricant product markets and also for economics (sales revenues and profits).
  • Understand the major long term trends impacting the lubricants business and be able to anticipate future profitable opportunities.
  • Contribute additional value to the business through being able to relate their own role and responsibilities to the lubricants value chain, enabling them to be more effective, seek out profit enhancing opportunities and have the confidence to take strategic decisions.
  • For those in professional roles outside the lubricants business (eg financial, legal, planning, etc), they will understand much of the terminology and jargon of the industry.

Case studies and short exercises will be included in the programme to provide opportunities to interact with the information presented and to develop a deeper understanding of how to use the knowledge for delegates’ own benefit.


This course has been designed for a wide range of delegates such as:

  • Experienced oil industry managers who are new to the lubricant business.
  • Recently appointed managers who anticipate a career in the lubricant industry.
  • Business development planning and commercial staff in lubricant companies or the lubricant divisions of larger oil companies.
  • Technical lubricant staff and and service team mebers that have recently transferred to a commercial role.
  • Professionals in organisations outside lubricants (eg investment banks, legal, trading houses, etc) who need to understand how the lubricants business operates.

This course is intended to be an introduction to the lubricants business and therefore is ideal for use as part of an induction programme for new staff or managers transferring into the downstream from other parts of the oil business.  


Overview of the global lubricants business

  • Overall industry structure
  • The major products and services and their applications
  • Regional variations o Economics and profitability
  • Economics and profitability

Market demand

  • Markets for conventional, very high VI (VHVI) and synthetic lubricants
  • Regional variations in lubricant markets
  • Distribution channels
  • Forecasting lubricant demand

Product supply

  • Base oils - mineral oil, VHVI and synthetic oil manufacturing and economics
  • Lubricant additives - industry structure and main additive categories
  • Lubricant manufacturing, including health & safety issues

Automotive lubricants

  • Key issues and trends
  • Classification, specification, testing and approval of automotive lubricants

Industrial lubricants

  • Key issues and trends
  • Classification, specification, testing and approval of industrial lubricants

Marine, railway and aviation lubricants

  • Economics and profitability
  • Commodity vs premium business models
  • How to identify profitable market segments
  • Marketing & promotion in lubricants
  • The role of customer service


Richard Prince has almost 30 years of experience within the downstream oil industry, covering both marketing and refining businesses. Most recently responsible for marketing planning across the BP group, he has been an independent consultant since 2007. Richard has an MA in chemistry from Oxford University and began his career with BP in refinery process research and development, before gaining plant commissioning & operating experience. He joined Castrol in 1989, then part of Burmah Oil, as a manufacturing and supply chain advisor, before broadening his experience into marketing by managing the central business intelligence team. With subsequent management positions at BurmahCastrol in Strategic Projects and Corporate Development, he was a key contributor to the BurmahCastrol Board's decision to sell the business to BP in 2000. Returning to BP after the sale, Richard was appointed to the integration team set up to plan and manage the merger of the BP and Castrol lubricants businesses. Following a period in the downstream strategy & planning group, he took on a new role with responsibility for all planning activity in the global marketing function and was additionally responsible for developing these capabilities across the BP Group.


“Thank you very much and hope we shall meet again.” G.L., United Nations Operations- Ivory Coast

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