Kline Study Shows Shell Retakes Top Spot in Global Lubricants Market in 2006

- Niche Marketing and Innovation Becoming Essential for all Lubricants

Companies -

Jul 30, 2007, 01:00 ET from Kline

    LITTLE FALLS, N.J., July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Shell has reclaimed the
 number one position in the world lubricants market, according to data from
 a recently completed study by analysts at Kline & Company, a worldwide
 management consulting and market research firm.
     Volumetric data from Competitive Intelligence for the Global Lubricants
 Industry, 2006-2016 shows Shell edging out its largest competitor, albeit
 by a slim margin, just one year after ExxonMobil had achieved the top
 position. The study indicates that organic growth in Shell's business in
 China, Russia, and parts of Asia and Europe, coupled with the company's
 acquisition of a 75% share in the Chinese oil company Beijing Tongyi were
 the deciding factors. BP, Chevron, and Total round out the top five
 lubricant marketers.
     Kline's report pegs the global market for finished lubricants at 38.5
 million tons, up by 1.5% from 2005 to 2006. However, much of this increase
 is to the result of unfilled orders placed in 2005 that were not delivered
 due to the effects of natural disasters such as hurricanes Katrina and Rita
 and the tsunami that struck southern Asia in December 2005. When adjusted
 for this, actual growth is less than 1.0%, the same annual growth rate
 predicted by Kline's study through 2016.
     "It's a mature, almost stagnant market when you look at it globally,
 and the only way you can grow is by acquiring market share from someone
 else," says Geeta Agashe, director of Kline's Petroleum and Energy
 practice. "Demand is growing in certain parts of the world, specifically in
 the Asia-Pacific region and South America, but Western Europe is declining
 and North America is stagnant."
     Together, China and India account for nearly 17% of global lubricant
 consumption, according to Kline's report. Markets in China, the second
 largest consumer of lubricants, and India, the fifth largest, are growing
 at rates of at least 6% annually, far exceeding the world average. This is
 due to the growth of industrial production in those countries and the
 increase in automotive consumption of lubricants by both passenger cars and
 commercial fleets.
     "Moving forward, organic growth is not expected across the
 industry--only in select niches," says Agashe. "Astute marketers should be
 watching consumer and industrial trends closely, because the oils that are
 going to do well in the future are the ones that meet a specific customer
     Examples of these niche oils are ExxonMobil's Mobil 1, which performs
 extremely well in the synthetics category, and Quaker Chemical's specialty
 fire-resistant hydraulic lubricants.
     Also to be watched is the growing importance of some of the
 nationalized and independent oil companies. Indian Oil and China's Sinopec
 are working to expand outside their home markets, as are Petrobras of
 Brazil, Pertamina, the national oil company of Indonesia, LUKOIL of Russia,
 and Petronas, the Malaysian national oil company.
     Competitive Intelligence for the Global Lubricants Industry, 2006-2016
 provides a comprehensive assessment of select national markets for
 commercial automotive, consumer automotive, and industrial oils and fluids.
 The study examines six geographic regions through aggregate research
 gathered at the country level and includes a complete year in review for
 the industry, supplier and country profiles, and 10-year market forecasts.
     For more information on this research, go to
 http://www.klinegroup.com/reports/y533.asp or contact Geeta Agashe at
 +1-973-435-3484 or geeta_agashe@klinegroup.com.
     About Kline
     Kline is a worldwide consulting and research firm dedicated to
 providing the kind of insight and knowledge that helps companies find a
 clear path to success. The firm has served the management consulting and
 market research needs of organizations in the chemicals, materials, energy,
 life sciences, and consumer products industries for nearly 50 years. For
 more information, visit http://www.KlineGroup.com.
     For more information, contact:
     Geeta Agashe
     Director, Petroleum and Energy
     Kline & Company